Rody signs law on mandatory coop officer post

President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law a measure making the position of a Cooperatives Development Officer (CDO) mandatory in all local government units. 

Republic Act No. 1535, signed on April 9, amends the Local Government Code of 1991. 

Under RA 11535, the municipal, city, and provincial levels will all be required to appoint a CDO in charge of assisting promising groups and sectors in organizing and forming their own cooperatives. 

CDOs will also bridge regional cooperatives with the Cooperative Development Authority and other national government agencies to help them harmonize their goals with the national cooperative movement. 

Other powers and duties of the CDO include: 

• Formulating measures for the consideration of the sanggunian (council) and provide technical assistance and support to the governor or mayor, as the case may be, in carrying out measures to ensure the delivery of basic services and provision of facilities through the promotion and development of cooperatives, and in providing access to such services and facilities; 

º Developing plans and strategies in consultation with the cooperative sector and upon approval thereof by the governor or mayor, as the case may be, implement the same, particularly those which have to do with the integration of cooperatives values, principles, and practices in programs and projects; 

•Taking the lead in identifying groups, sectors or communities that can be organized into cooperatives; providing assistance to prospective cooperatives in the conduct of the required preregistration seminar; providing technical and other forms of assistance to duly registered cooperatives; and assisting cooperatives in establishing linkages with government agencies, cooperative unions, and federations, the academe, and non-government organizations involved in the promotion and integration of the concept of cooperatives; and 

• Assisting cooperatives in the development and implementation of risk management plans and business continuity plans and management as a response to anticipated or unexpected man-made and natural calamities and disasters, to aid in their survival and if necessary subsequent rehabilitation. 

LGUs may appoint a full-fledged CDO or merge the responsibilities of a CDO to an existing position should this be more feasible with respect to the size of the local cooperative sector or the capability of LGUs to carve out the proper emoluments from its budget.

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