My Point of View: Of life, honor and cooperativism

September 27, 2006

By Romeo N. Cardoza

“I would rather die than loss my honor,” according to the hard-hitting columnist, Ramon Tulfo. This was his reaction when advised to leave the country while the First Gentleman is still angry at him.

Losing one’s life in defense of honor is a vanishing trait. The common path to take is to reconcile differences through a public apology, deny that the act was ever committed or the issue would solve itself.

I appreciate Tulfo for his grit and hard-hitting commentaries. This trait is hard to come by. However, making a dare on the First Gentleman maybe too much. Losing life in defense of honor is quite cavalier. But making a challenge so that the other party may resort to borrowing your life is foolishness.

There was a time when honor and dignity were non-negotiable. There were times when “delicadeza” was the rule of thumb and few books deal on the topic on what to do or not to do. There were times when public officials bahave as repositories of people’s confidence and never behave as the “peoples choice”. People behave like honor is a very precious commodity. However, dying for one’s honor never come as a natural consequence.

It is easy to say that one is willing to die in defense of one’s honor. Faced with the chance to do just that would then take a different twist. It is more convention to dis-own one’s words rather than take the test of one’s indiscretion.

The statement is therefore a foolish one. But only the brave and the desperate would cling to its veracity. Look at the opposition in congress. Only Congressmen Cayetano and Remulla seem to stick to their role and be vocal about it. Some have fallen wary about the tactics played on them. Still in defense of honor?

There is a hair-line difference between idealism and stoicism. The first talks of achieving one’s ideals while the latter talks of achieving what one thinks is right; whether it is according to one’s ideals or it is according to divine will. But most often, one talks of one’s ideals as if divine Will is the same. This results in the expression that “God willing, it will be done.”

In the ultimate analysis, though, for lack of something to blame, dying for one’s honor is bravely uttered with the hope that “God will protect me.” Idealism or stoicism? Only the philosophers can make a valid claim on the results.


A report submitted by the Cooperative Development Authority shows a total of 909 cooperatives in Bukidnon. District I has a total of 270; district II with 317 and district  III with 322.

However, before we rejoice on the big number of cooperatives registered, think again. Of the 909 cooperatives, only 334 are active. The rest are either cancelled, dissolved, for dissolution or are inactive. This means that only around 37% of cooperatives in Bukidnon are performing, thus classified as active.

Looking at the above figures, the registration of 296 cooperatives have already been cancelled or dissolved. They have no chance of being revived. Eighty-two are for dissolution while 36 are inactive for a total of 118 cooperatives already in coma or having their last breath.

Considering the belief that the cooperative is our only chance for economic development, coop organizers must look into this experience if cooperativism must move forward while pulling a lot of non-functional cooperatives.

I remember a cooperative formed a few years ago attended  by no less that the President of the Republic of the
Philippines. It was inaugurated with literally a big bang but fizzled out in a few months, with Quidancor now on the trail of foreclosing all its assets or having collection problems.

Surely, this debacle must also be blamed on funding agencies. To be able to access funds, groups or associations must register themselves as cooperatives. This is a great come-on, especially for coop leaders who entice members because of the funds to be accessed. Not having been imbued with the correct principles of cooperativism, members become enactive after accessing funds from the cooperative. In many instances, it was shown that the right reasons to form a cooperative leads to an active one.

Another suggestion is for CDA to temporarily register cooperatives and consider the same only after two years when this cooperative has already shown the right reasons to bind themselves in the constitution and by-laws of the same cooperative.

Of course, it behooves upon CDA to help cooperatives that are encountering problems. Other successful cooperatives may also be encouraged to adopt those that are weak.

Whatever the consequences, much is to be desired. While we always recognize and give awards to successful cooperatives like DEARBCI, BUGEMCO, etc., we have to do something to help small cooperatives in the rural areas. Only then can the cooperatives be OUR ONLY CHANCE for economic recovery. (NEWSWATCH)