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Roque welcomes cooperatives’ endorsement

UniTeam senatorial Harry Roque thanked the National Coalition of Cooperatives for endorsing the UniTeam candidates led by survey frontrunners Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos, Jr. and Sara Duterte.

Roque said the UniTeam shares the cooperative sector’s value of unity and teamwork to advance the socio-economic well-being of Filipinos.

On Thursday, the former presidential spokesperson received the coalition’s manifesto of support on behalf of Marcos and Duterte.

“We are happy to receive their endorsement since we all adhere to unity, cooperation, and mutual assistance. Under a UniTeamleadership, we can expect the sector’s further growth,” Roque said.

Roque said the UniTeam represents the left-right political spectrum.

On the other hand, cooperatives strike a middle ground between capitalism and communism relative to the country’s socio-economic upliftment.

“Through cooperatives, Filipinos can derive full benefits from free enterprise and ensure that these benefits are inclusive and collective,” Roque said.

According to the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), the Philippines has 18,840 registered cooperatives and 11.5 million members as of 2020.

CDA said cooperatives are autonomous and duly registered associations whose members contribute equitably to the required capital, patronize their products and services, and share equitable risks and benefits.

The sector has a total asset of P572.5 billion and a net surplus of P23.3 billion. It has also generated 364,700 jobs.

The former party-list congressman said cooperatives offer a viable solution to the economic downturn caused by the pandemic and the inflationary effect of the Russia-Ukraine war.

One of my legislative platforms is the ‘no to lockdown, yes to livelihood.’ In these trying times, cooperatives have helped better the lives of its members through job creation and higher income generation,” Roque said.

Citing the cooperatives in Cebu, Roque said several farmers no longer rely solely on agricultural products since they have ventured into other sectors such as tourism and housing.

The health and human rights advocate disclosed, “This is why when I was a lawmaker in the 17th Congress, I strongly opposed and blocked a proposal that imposes taxes on cooperatives.”

Roque recalled that he was a cooperative member while pursuing his undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan in 1983. He said joining a student cooperative was life-changing for him.

As a working law student in Congress, Roque was assigned to a committee that drafted bills for the consideration of congressmen. He wrote the first proposed measure that became the basis for the establishment of CDA.

If elected to the Senate, Roque would push for poverty reduction measures such as ‘zero hunger in the Philippines, the right to potable water, job creation for pandemic-affected workers, and livelihood recovery for typhoon Odette victims.

Roque would also bat for the better implementation of the Universal Health Care law, which he principally authored. He would create the National Health Service to replace the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).


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