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October is Cooperative Month

Kim’s Dream  Orlan Ravanera

Cooperatives Build United Front Against Poverty

A century & half ago, Dr. Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, Apolinario Mabini, among others, became heroes because they dared to respond to the urgent call of th times then by inspiring the people to hit the core of the problem – colonialism.  These nationalistic men had organized the people to wage resistance, trusting in the inherent capability of the people to craft their own destiny. 

Today, all sectors of society are up in arms against the common enemy which is abject poverty, gross social inequity and social injustice.  They follow the same formula adopted by our heroes, which is, to harness the people’s collective potentials and power to have control over their lives and over the resources  which are fast slipping through their fingers. This time, it is NEVER BLOODY RESISTANCE. The resistance against poverty is called COOPERATIVISM and the new freedom fighters are coming from all sectors of society, harnessing their collective potentials through their respective cooperative. They are now giving notice to one and all that they have awakened to transform a highly skewed societal order following the United Nation’s Theme of advancing 17 Sustainable Development Goals which is: TRANSFORMATIVE COOPERATIVES FOR PEOPLE, PLANET, PROSPERITY AND PEACE. 

October is their month and will therefore carry-out activities to put cooperatives in the public imagination and consciousness, anchored on the truism that cooperativism is the only democratic process now that can liberate the people from the pangs of hunger and poverty. October is the month of the poor and the hungry as it reels-off punctuated with important celebrations that put to the fore issues of poverty and hunger and what are being done to resolve these pressing issues by mobilizing their collective potentials, energies and experiences. 

October 16 is World Food Day by virtue of a United Nation’s Resolution while October 17 is the Day Overcoming Extreme Poverty. Oct is also the month of the Indigenous Peoples now wallowing in extreme poverty. By virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 493, October has been declared as Cooperative Month. 

It is a wonderful coincidence that all of these above mentioned celebrations fall together on the same month as these events are inextricably linked and the issues they carry are very much inter-related. This month of October therefore is the appropriate time for all of us to pause and reflect on issues of poverty and hunger not only nationally but also globally. Don’t you know that there are some 1.2 billion people on earth that are starving, mostly in Asia?  Don’t you know that there are one billion people on earth that are just subsisting below $2 per day?  That is a great paradox in a world of abundance where the combined wealth of  some eight top billionaires is equal to the total assets of some 3.6 billion people or half of the world’s population.  Don’t you know that the combined wealth of the one percent of the world’s population is greater that the total assets of the 7.2 billion people?  Such is called here in the United States as the Regime of One Percent, even earning so much out of wars as the one percent regime is gaining so much money out of manufacturing armaments. 

Let us now reflect on these bitter socio-economic-political-ecological realities.  Through cooperativism, let us harness the collective power of the people to draw those in the margins into the mainstream of development.  This month of October, let us give tribute to the cooperatives especially the TRANSFORMATIVE COOPERATIVES FOR PEOPLE, PLANET, PROSPERITY AND PEACE. MABUHAY ANG KOOPERATIBA!

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