22 October 2009

SBMA employees’ co-op lent out P2-M in two years

A cooperative formed by employees of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) has already released more than P2 million in loans — proof of a vibrant savings and investment scheme that has benefited more than 400 members in just two years.

Officials of the SBMA Employees Welfare Multi-Purpose Cooperative (SEWMPC) said the cooperative has also inaugurated its own office barely two years after its launching in October 2007.

“It can be declared to all that there is now a respectable cooperative within the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, as we now have an actual office, a manifestation of our members’ strong confidence,” said SEWMPC chairman Severo Pastor Jr.

“We have already extended at least P2 million in loans to some 400 members who are in need of financial support, and another P200,000 is ready for releasing,” Pastor also said.

He added that with its new, fully-furnished office located at the SBMA gym complex, the cooperative can better reach out to SBMA employees working in various areas of the Freeport.

SEWMPC was organized in 2006 with full support and encouragement from SBMA chairman Feliciano Salonga and SBMA administrator Armand Arreza.

Aimed at uplifting the living conditions of SBMA employees, the cooperative has helped its members increase their income and savings through investments, as well as greater productivity.

Pastor, who is also manager of the SBMA Labor Department, said the creation of the SEWMPC was likewise a direct answer to the growing operation of local loan sharks “who milked our fellow employees with unconscionable interest rates.”

Today the SEWMPC has about P2.5 million in assets, mostly sourced from members of the board who voluntarily lent their money for the operation of the cooperative.

In his message during the inauguration of the cooperative’s new office, SBMA Chairman Salonga said the SEWMPC has proven to be “a reliable lifesaver in these times of global recession and calamities.”

“Through our cooperative, we can make our life a bit easier,” Salonga said. “And we are looking forward to the time when we won’t need it anymore, to the time when we have all the chance to buy anything we need.”

The new office, according to Pastor, will be registered with the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), a step toward becoming part of a federation of cooperatives within Central Luzon.

On the same occasion, Zambales CDA officer Edmund Engao swore into office the elected leaders of the cooperative. These are SEWMPC chairman Pastor, vice chairman Lolita Mallari, treasurer Evelyn Crescini, and secretary Dorotea Varela.

Engao also inducted into office the cooperative’s board members: Rodolfo Kalaquian, chairman of the audit committee; Magdaleno Motas, Paulita Yee, Antonietta Sanqui, Marco Estabillo, Rodel Mayor, Emerlinda Delos Reyes, and Rebecca Ventura. (SBMA Corporate Communications)

PHOTO: MOVING FORWARD: SBMA Chairman Feliciano Salonga (left) inaugurates the new office of the SBMA Employees Welfare Multi-Purpose Cooperative, which has released more than P2-million in loans to its members.