A total of P5 million in cash was awarded to 20 cooperatives as a result of the yearly nationwide search for outstanding organizations and community enterprises which are models of good practices in poverty reduction.
The Villar SIPAG (Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance) led by former Senate President Manny Villar, Sen. Cynthia Villar, and Las Pinas Rep. Mark Villar recognizes enterprises which helped reduce poverty in their communities through the Villar SIPAG Awards on Poverty Reduction.
"Through this initiative, we were able to recognize the work of cooperatives in supplementing government efforts to fight poverty. No cash prize can ever sufficiently reward the very important accomplishment of improving people's lives, especially in the rural areas," Cynthia Villar said.
This year's winners included cooperatives which became instrumental in the recovery of people in disaster-stricken areas such as Metro Ormoc Community Multipurpose Cooperative in Ormoc City, Leyte, and Northern Samar Multipurpose Cooperative in Catarman, Northern Samar. These areas were among the badly-hit by Supertyphoon Yolanda in 2013.
More than 300 applied for the awards but only 20 were selected according to effectiveness, significance, financial viability, sustainability and adaptability.
Chosen cooperatives were awarded a plaque and P250,000 each by the Villars in a ceremony at Villar SIPAG, Pulang Lupa I, Las Pinas. The amount can be used by the community enterprise to start a new business or expand their existing projects.
Also among the 20 winners are Agri-Aqua Network International (Antipolo), Simbayanan ni Maria Multipurpose Cooperative (Taguig), Abra Diocesan Teachers and Employees Multipurpose Cooperative (Bangued, Abra), Besao Multipurpose Cooperative (Besao, Mountain Province), Tabuk Multi-purpose Cooperative (Tabuk City, Kalinga), Sacred Heart Savings Cooperative (Galimuyod, Ilocos Sur), Tubao Credit Cooperative (Tubao, La Union), Diffun Saranay and Development Cooperative (Diffun, Quirino), Tam-an Banaue Multipurpose Cooperative (Solano, Nueva Vizcaya), and Duran Farm Agri-business and Training Center (San Ildefonso, Bulacan), Barbaza Multipurpose Cooperative (Barbaza, Antique), Lamac Multipurpose Cooperative (Pinamungajan, Cebu), Dumingag Organic Farmers Credit and Savings Cooperative (Dumingag, Zamboanga del Sur), Northern Mindanao Federation of Dairy Cooperative- Highland Fresh Dairy Products (El Salvador City, MIsamis Oriental), Laak Multipurpose Cooperative (Poblacion Laak, Compostela Valley), Sta. Catalina Multipurpose Cooperative (Pres. Roxas, Cotabato), Baug Carp Beneficiaries Multipurpose Cooperative (Magallanes, Agusan del Norte), and Socorro Empowered People's Cooperative (Socorro, Surigao del Norte).
The Villar SIPAG Awards for Poverty Reduction was launched in August 2013 to recognize the exemplary achievements of community enterprises that resulted to local economic development and improvement of lives.