Months before its December 2020 target, Benguet-based Thanksgiving Multi-purpose Cooperative (TMPC) hit ‘P100 million in assets’, thanks to the support of Aboitiz Group subsidiaries namely Hedcor, Inc. and Pilmico Foods Corp., and its corporate development arm Aboitiz Foundation, Inc.
What was once a small all-women cooperative with an initial membership of 22 and a starting capital of only P102,500 has now become an 800-strong membership that owns a total asset of over P100 million, including its four-storey building along Camp 6, Kennon Road in Tuba, Benguet. 一 a notable milestone amid the challenges brought about by the Coronavirus pandemic.
TMPC is a multi-business cooperative that offers loans, savings and time deposits, as well as miscellaneous services such as photocopying and bookbinding. The Aboitiz Foundation, in collaboration with Hedcor and Pilmico provided financial assistance, capacity-building, as well as livelihood skills training for its members such as dressmaking and baking, among others.
The restrictions of the health crisis saw TMPC’s loan applications and payments decline as cooperative members opted not to apply due to payment uncertainties as majority of them were unable to work upon the imposition of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in the area.
However, these restrictions soon became opportunities as the ECQ prevented other bread suppliers from entering their community. As the only bakery operating in the area, the TMPC bakery operates day and night to meet the demands of the community. This has brought their income to 117% increase in terms of sales from the month of March and April compared to January and February of the same year. Their grocery store also saw a 50% sales increase despite the ECQ.
“Thank you for donating our starter kits for our dressmaking and bakery business which we now enjoy and very much in demand in this time of pandemic. Again, the officers and members of the Thanksgiving Multi-Purpose Cooperative are very much privileged to be one among your chosen partners in fulfilling your Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Without the support extended to us by Aboitiz Foundation, HEDCOR and Pilmico, we will not be able to reach our status today, a large cooperative with an asset of over Php100M,” said Emma Golocan, General Manager of Thanksgiving MPC.
Giving back to the community
With the success of TMPC, the cooperative pays it forward by giving back to the communities it serves. Recently, the cooperative conducted a relief operation in the affected areas of COVID-19.
“What sets us apart from other cooperatives is perhaps our belief that ‘in giving, you shall receive’. TMPC donates 10% of its annual net income to the church since the beginning of its operation in 1993. This is a true testament to our faith in the Almighty and with all the unending support of our partner agencies, the officers and the members, I can say that we made it all possible for Thanksgiving MPC to be where we are now.” Golocan added.
TMPC also conducts regular medical and dental missions, participates in community clean-up drives, implements tree planting activities, initiates Brigada Eskwela every start of the school year, and other similar initiatives.
“Truly, exciting times are ahead! With all of us working together, we can make more self-reliant organizations like Thanksgiving Multipurpose Cooperative — able to firmly stand on their own, grow their businesses, and in their own inspiring ways, contribute to co-creating safe, empowered, and sustainable communities,” said Maribeth L. Marasigan, Aboitiz Foundation President and Chief Operating Officer.
Established in 1993, the cooperative officially registered with the Cooperative Development Authority and secured its capital from the Community Based Development Program (CBDP) of the Episcopal Diocese of North Central Philippines (EDNCP). Today, TMPC is accepting men as members, a move to elevate equal gender opportunity.
Aboitiz Foundation continues to support TMPC through livelihood skills training, prompting some of its members to secure National Certification II on dressmaking and baking and pastry production.
Through its enterprise development program, Aboitiz Foundation empowers cooperative members with effective organizational management and technical skills, financial and infrastructure support, and access to market to help grow and expand their business. Since its inception, the program has benefited over 53 cooperatives with nearly 16,000 members as of 2019.
About Aboitiz Foundation
The Aboitiz Foundation is the corporate foundation of the Aboitiz Group that was established in 1988. Its purpose is to drive change for a better world by advancing business and communities through programs on education, enterprise development, and environment. Since its inception in 1988, the Foundation’s CSR interventions have evolved from one-time donations to carefully designed programs that empower its beneficiaries to pursue their aspirations.
Today, the Aboitiz Foundation, through the Aboitiz Business Units, develops and implements corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs or CSR 2.0 projects that aim to co-create safe, empowered, and sustainable communities. These CSR 2.0 projects are aligned with the Group’s core competencies, are scalable nationwide, and create deeper social impact on the communities and beneficiaries it serves.
[Article submitted by Jowelle Ann Cruz, Aboitiz Foundation, Inc.]