The Philippines experienced numerous lockdowns and quarantines caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the said situation compelled many workers and employees to abandon their jobs due to financial hardship. The sluggish expansion of the economy also severely influenced individuals who had difficulty determining how to meet their needs. After that, lending companies began to appear seemingly out of nowhere. It had a positive impact, at first,
because people have started to regain and recover from the pandemic.

Nevertheless, these lending institutions took advantage of the circumstances by demanding higher interest rates. In contrast, cooperatives, such as credit and multipurpose, provide members with a more affordable alternative than commercial banks. Additionally, cooperatives offer various financial services at significantly reduced interest rates for diverse reasons. Cooperatives are organizations managed and directed by the cooperative’s members. It is distinct from other firms, banks, and businesses in that its members own it and run it for profit rather than to make
money for outside investors.

In addition, cooperatives have a lot of benefits and advantages to provide to their members and other interested parties. “But maybe the reason is that it’s better in the cooperative, first of all, their interest is lower compared to
lending, since they are already members of the cooperative, and of course the interest is lower when they are members,” said Jonald Aglosolos, University of Baguio, Finance Employee. The primary objective of the cooperative is to guarantee, supply, and distribute benefits and services to its members.

A secondary aim of the cooperative is to allow its members and customers to meet their requirements through loans, improve their position in negotiations, and increase their earnings from shares of ownership. It is essential to consider the knowledge management leadership strategy, implement Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
throughout the cooperative, and locate willing and motivated individuals and groups if the cooperative is to advance through unity and success.

It is essential to have a recognizable group of interested individuals who are eager to invest in the development of the
cooperative because cooperatives tend to cultivate a positive image in the eyes of the general public. Without a discernible group of shareholders, establishing and maintaining a cooperative will be challenging. This worry makes
it abundantly clear that cultivating a good reputation in the public eye is of the utmost importance, given that
cooperatives share the characteristic of the shareholder or member collaboration.

Compared to other company structures, Cooperatives tend to exist for more extended periods and are better able to thrive during the startup phase. One reason for this is the cooperation that exists within cooperatives. Cooperatives are essential to alleviating poverty, particularly in the current economic downturn where the costs of all necessities are rising. Cooperatives offer a solution based on the principle of power in numbers, where people share a common
concern, confront a similar challenge, or seek a more comprehensive solution than what they could achieve alone.

It is why cooperatives are vital to reducing poverty and helping people grow in a stepby-step process. All cooperatives, whether economic or social, promote the growth and prosperity of their respective communities.
Cooperatives organize and cater locally and globally because they can assist in all circumstances, especially in
financial incapability. Both emerging and established nations rely on cooperatives because they are an empowering model that encourages collaborative social change and can significantly help move toward a progressive future.

Valerie Ann E. Dismaya-UBIntern

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