A decade of COOPerativism

JCA Rubber Multi-purpose Cooperative is one of the most progressive cooperatives in Agusan del Sur that has survived the test of time. Alleviating the living conditions, the cooperative is one of the economic programs instituted by the government and visualized by JARBEMCO. It is envisioned to become an epitome of having farmer beneficiaries with improved quality of life, productive, self –reliant and stable members, maximizing the sustainable use of the lands turned over to them by virtue of Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).
 
JARBEMCO was formally organized on April 05, 1999 with its starting paid-up subscribed share capitalization of P 37,200.00 or P 700.00 each from its members. It has 51 original cooperators registered with the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) on June 18, 1999.
 
It was in the year 2001 when JARBEMCO formally started its production-based economic operation having then officially received the Certificate of Land Ownership Awards (CLOAs) from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) consisting of 236 hectares more or less located in Brgy. Teresita, Bayugan 1, Agusan Del Sur. The land was initially planted with rubber, durian, mangosteen and coconut trees which were turned over by the company to the cooperative beneficiaries by virtue of CAR Program in accordance with Republic Act 6657 and Act.90 of R.A No. 6938.
 
“Before the land was turned over to us, life was truly hard. We can hardly send our children to school,” Mr. Romeo Alenta, the coop manager bitterly recalls. Now, the members are truly happy because with the help of CAR program/DAR, they now have a productive land they could truly call their very own. Now, they are able to provide food for their family and as well as education to their children.
 
Facing the new challenge as manager-farmer beneficiary of the cooperative, the officers and members have taken giant paces to set a higher vision including environmental conservation and resources sustained not only for the benefit of the farmer beneficiary members but also for the whole community .
 
“The old cliché “In unity there is strength” is indeed true. In cooperativism, officers and members alike work hand in hand to attain our vision and mission, for the farmer beneficiary-members to live comfortably and for the next generation to get hold of a better future,” Mr. Melvin Mondido, the coop chairperson enthusiastically states.
 
To further increase the cooperative’s production-based economic activities, JARBEMCO expanded its plantation coverage for the period 2004-2005 with their engagement in 120 hectares oil palm venture. The coop was assisted by the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) via their loan financing assistance and Filipinas Palm oil plantations, Inc. (FPPI) that provided them with technical assistance and seedlings. In more than three years, palm oil development project became commercially productive.
 
At the moment, there are 289 hectares managed by the cooperative which provide economic returns and employment opportunities to the coop members and non-members. The cooperative also engaged in lending operations for the members alone and consumer store catering to members and non-members.
 
The remarkable feats and gains they achieve because of hard work and labor they capitalized on, gave them distinctions and recognitions. In 2011, JARBEMCO was given a special citation for the GAWAD SAKA Outstanding Small Farmers’ Organization given by the Department of Agriculture, Butuan City for the coop’s outstanding contribution in establishing a viable and sustainable farmers’ organization.
 
Recognition and citations also from the Department of Education, Municipal Cooperative Development Office (MCDO) and Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP) Bayugan I were likewise bestowed to them.
 
Because of their laudable performance as cooperative, they were entrusted with formerly Barangay Bagsakan project now Barangay Food Terminal (President Aquino time) funded by the government via Department of Agriculture where the aquatic and agricultural products of the farmers and residents of the community including live stocks were displayed in the Food terminal. The coop was provided with equipments like freezer, weighing scale and others which has been utilized by the coop in their consumer store. The project really fares well until present.  It is easier for the farmers now to market their products and also helpful for the cooperative and other consumer in the area. In fact, in the whole CARAGA, JARBEMCO was commended also because of the aforesaid project.
 
Consequently, JARBEMCO officers became lecturers to other provinces in CARAGA as role model of this project. JARBEMCO was also a beneficiary of a farm to market road amounting to P 3.5 Million including rubber financing for 50 hectares under National Agri-business Corporation (NABCOR) under the DA’s supervision amounting to P 3 Million. “All these blessing that we have cannot be achieved without strict adherence to the coop policies .Our coop policies is our bible that the coop officers and members should religiously follow,” Mr. Narciso Samblasinio, the coop vice chair shares.
 
Presently, the cooperative has a total of 145 members, whom majority members are males. This however did not make the women crippled as they are actively involved in many aspects of coop activities, seminars, workshops and decision- making processes. In their meeting in fact, women are heard.
 
Indeed, JARBEMCO has proven its worth with success it has achieved; JARBEMCO still aims to give its members a comfortable life, undaunted in its commitment to serve not only to its members but the community as well.
 
“The success that JARBEMCO has is a manifestation of the joint efforts of DAR and CARP stakeholders in helping our farmer and non- farmer beneficiaries alleviate themselves from the sickening reality of hardships. A piece of land given to farmer beneficiaries provided with support services truly aid our farmer beneficiaries lives a better quality of life,” PARO Paysal B. Tumog of DAR Agusan del Sur positively concluded.