Gata Daku Multi-Purpose Cooperative is association of people united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically controlled business. It is an organization that is owned and run jointly by its members, who share the profits or benefits. It involves mutual assistance in working towards common goal.
Co-operatives are businesses owned and run by and for their members. Whether the members are the customers, employees or residents they have an equal say in what the business does and a share in the profits.
The Gata Daku Multi-purpose Cooperative (GDMPC) was founded in March 1992 by a group of farmers concerned with the plight on how to augment their income. Among the founding members of the cooperative provided great effort were the 32 farmer- cooperators led by late Hermenegildo Dela Rosa. Its registration was confirmed by the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) in August 14, 1992 through CDA Registration No. CGY-992.
For about 7 years, the GDMPC carried out its operations in the barangay where its sari-sari store was located. In its early stages, the cooperative was under pressure in dealing with arrears accounts due to calamity and vulnerabilities of the organization and in the lives of the members. But owing to a strong social capital, the kinship and faith-based relationships, and the infusion of younger and more educated members, the GDMPC was able to institute changes in its operations.
In 1999, its office was moved to the town proper where the cooperative started facing the challenges in developing strategies of becoming a financially viable and stable organization. The management staff had experience hardship, tension and sacrifices in recovering losses, coping professionalism and standards, establishing relationship with new members and building partnership with other institutions and coop networks. But all these struggles and tests, led the cooperative to it's new paradigm and thrust to soar on high for a cause of making change in the lives of the people.
For the past years, the existence of the cooperative has exhibited good governance and management with commitment and determination to endure hardships and great efforts to achieve organizational sustainability.
Co-operatives are based on the values of self-help, self responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, co-operative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others.
The co-operative principles are guidelines by which co-operatives put their values into practice.
1. Voluntary and Open Membership
Co-operatives are voluntary organisations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.
2. Democratic Member Control
Co-operatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions. Men and women serving as elected representatives are accountable to the membership. In primary co-operatives members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote) and co-operatives at other levels are also organized in a democratic manner.
3. Member Economic Participation
Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their co-operative. At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the co-operative. Members usually receive limited compensation, if any, on capital subscribed as a condition of membership. Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the following purposes: developing their co-operative, possibly by setting up reserves, part of which at least would be indivisible; benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the co-operative; and supporting other activities approved by the membership.
4. Autonomy and Independence
Co-operatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If they enter into agreements with other organizations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members and maintain their co-operative autonomy.
5. Education, Training and Information
Co-operatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers, and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their co-operatives. They inform the general public - particularly young people and opinion leaders - about the nature and benefits of co-operation.
6. Co-operation among Co-operatives
Co-operatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the co-operative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.
7. Concern for Community
Co-operatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies approved by their members.