Lamac Multi-Purpose Cooperative (LMPC) -
Lamac, Pinamungahan, Province of Cebu
The Lamac multi-Purpose Cooperative (LMPC) is the former Lamac Samahang Nayon operating in the community since 1973. It is located in Barangay Lamac, a far-flung barangay of Pinamungahan, Cebu. Barangay Lamac before was without roads, only trails; without electricity only kerosene lamps; without tap and potable water only deep well and spring; and no means of transportation to transport basic needs and produce of the community.
Cooperativism was sown in the heart of Lamac through the teachings of the barangay’s founder. Teaching by doing, deeply founded with love for God and the community, was and still is a firmly held believe and practice. This faith, as manifested in their community prayers held every day, became the center of the community’s life. The chapel also became the seat where plans of actions were discussed. These discussions started the peaceful and sustaining revolution towards its growth and development as a self-governing and self-sustaining community. The teachings were handed down to two more generations before the incumbent barangay barangay captain assumed her leadership facilitating the continued growth of Lamac.
The cooperative became the partner of Barangay Council in the advancement for community development. It is their goal to provide basic services to the community and make it sustainable. Their plans, etched in their hearts, are translated into actions with their hands and sheer determination. Thus, trails were converted into electricity. These were all done by the people themselves and financed by the cooperative, with limited government assistance in the case of the barangay’s electrification.
From its creation as a Samahang Nayon, LMPC struggled to become a self-governed, self-reliant cooperative; able to provide attractive compensation package to its workers and substantial benefits to its members. The cooperative has applied a grading system for members of good standing (MIGS). Members who have not lived up to the expectations and standards of the cooperative are provided enhancement and follow-up trainings. The system has continued to produce good membership which further developed commitment and willingness to strive for the best.
LMPC officers manage the cooperative well. The cooperative office is now equipped with facilities acquired from cash prices awarded by different awards giving bodies. At present, LMPC is empowering 46 workers who are enjoying the following benefits: honoraria and/or salary, SSS and medical benefits, clothing allowance, 13th month pay and maternity leave. The Cooperative at present has a strength of 963 members, with a total share capital of P3.7M and a total asset of P18.6M.
LMPC encountered difficulties just like any other cooperative, however, with true bayanihan spirit, it has surmounted these and came out victorious. The Cooperative is an embodiment of an organization with indigenous capacity to “reinvent” itself. Its various development programs and strategies are as follows:
LMPC is embarking on 20 businesses (services), employing forty-one regular workers and making substantial profits (P974, 500 in 1998).
The Cooperative is now a unifying force in Lamac and Pinamungahan, establishing alliances in networks with other barangays, the municipality itself, and with other organizations and agencies. It is mainstreaming its programs and activities in line with local and national development directions. In 1988, it conducted fifteen experience-sharing sessions to eighteen groups from all over the Visayas and Mindanao.
LMPC goes beyond providing credit and selling goods. It made possible the rehabilitation of other peoples’ organizations in the municipality. It participated and involved itself in relevant socio-economic issues that concern and affect its members. It is presently reaching out to the real poor in many areas of Pinamungahan, allowing them to engage in different micro-enterprises.
LMPC’s work impacts both the community of Lamac and the municipality of Pinamungahan. It addressed problems and undertakes projects related to work, transportation, communication, electric services, post-harvest facilities, health and sanitation, road construction, and many others. It is expanding its membership coverage and services. The Cooperative practices and promotes community-based decision making. It gained citations, and awards both from the regional and national levels.
In recognition of LMPC’s achievements, numerous awards and citations have been received. Among the local awards LMPC received: LBP 3rd Place Gawad Pitak in 1994 and DTI Tulong sa Tao in 1996. National awards for LMPC came from 2nd Place LBP Gawad Pitak 1995; 1st Place RCBC Gawad Sikap 1995; 4th Place LBP Gawad Pitak 1996; 2nd Place Gawad Pitak 1997; Model Filipino Organization Mithi Award by Filipino, Inc. 1997; Top Performer in Savings Mobilization by CARE-Philippines 1997; LIVECOR 2nd Place Kabuhayan1998; LBP Gawad Pitak 1998; Best Coop Citizenship; Gawad Pitak 1998; First Place and the Ulirang Kooperatiba Award by the Cooperative Union of the Philippines (CUP). LMPC has indeed improved the barangay of Lamac and upheld the honor of the municipality of Pinamungahan.