Banco Cooperativa de Zamboanga, the first banking institution that will cater the needs of different cooperatives in the city, broke ground Monday afternoon (August 8) signaling the start of its actual construction at the city-owned lot inside the Sta. Cruz market at Veterans Avenue.
Mayor Celso Lobregat led some members of the City Council and officials and members of the 15 coop-incorporators and other guests in the groundbreaking rites. A mass preceded the ceremony.
The cooperative bank will be a one floor building with an area of 116 square meters costing P2.2million. It is expected to complete in 75 working days.
Mayor Celso Lobregat and Banco Cooperativa Internal Char Amelita Lachica lead in the laying of the time capsule during groundbreaking rites for the P2.2 million Cooperative Bank that will rise at the city-owned lot inside the Sta. Cruz market at Veterans Avenue. Witnessing the event are Councilors (R-L) Rudy Lim, Eddie Saavedra, VP Elago, Myra Paz Abubakar and Percival Ramos, officers and members of the 15 coop-incorporators and guests. JOEY BAUTISTA
The groundbreaking Monday came after the city government, through Mayor Lobregat, forged a usufruct agreement allowing the Cooperative Bank to use the city-owned 200 meters lot inside the Sta. Cruz market complex for a period of 25 years and renewable for another 25 years.
On November 25, 2010, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has formally approved the proposal of the 15 multi-purpose cooperatives in the city to establish a bank devoted to serve the banking needs of the cooperative sector in Zamboanga. The approval came over 15 years after the cooperatives applied for the same.
“This is a realization of our dream. It was in 1999 when we started pushing for the establishment of this bank”, the mayor said after laying the time capsule for the project together with Councilors Lilia Nuño, Myra Paz Abubakar, Percival Ramos, Rudy Lim, Eddie Saavedra and VP Elago, Coop Bank Interim Chair Amelita Lachica; members of the different 15 primary cooperatives, consultants from the Land Bank, representatives from the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), and the proposed management and staff of the Banco Cooperativa.
The Coop Bank’s prospective manager is Ric Cabato Jr. who will be assisted by 7 workers.
Mayor Lobregat reaffirmed his all out support to the coop bank for the benefit of the cooperative sector in the city.
He stressed that the city government since the time of his late mother Mayor Maria Clara Lobregat has supported the proposal of the incorporators. “During the time of my mother as mayor and I as congressman, the incorporators have already approached the city government for help. We lobbied against the ban and moratorium in the creation of banks and Ma’am Caling committed to the incorporators the use of the city-owned lot through a usufruct agreement”.
The 15 cooperators, their positions and the cooperatives they represent are the following: Lachica (interim board chair) of the Zamboanga Social Welfare and Development Multi-purpose Cooperative (ZAMSOWEDCO); Edmund Que (interim vice chair) of the PPA Employees MPC; Eleonor Santiago (member) of the Micro-Entrepreneur MPC-MEMPCO; Aldit Jabagat (member) of the People’s Micro-finance MPC; Bernardita Chiong (member) of the Office of the City General Services Office of Familyand Friends MPC; Antonio Clarito(member) of the PNP Rainbow MPC; Lida Rose Baylon (member) of the Zamboanga City Community MPC; Arcadio Cavan Jr. (member) of the Office of the City Veterinarian Employees MPC; Monina Palce (member) of the Philpost-9 Credit Cooperative; Rashina Mendoza (cooperator) of the Office of Civil Registrar’s Office; Melinda Bascar (cooperator) of the Tumaga Elementary School Teachers’ Cooperative; Helen Balajula (cooperator) of the Recodo Integrated Workers’ MPC; Zerlita Paltos (cooperator) of the Zamboanga Peninsula Teachers and Community MPC; Cristina Tortola (cooperator) of the City Human Resource Management MPC and Ma. Jessica de los Reyes (cooperator) of the Mines Geo-9 Bureau Employees MPC. Leonor Aizon is the treasurer representing the CGSO & FF MPC and Alvin Alfonso is the secretary representing ZAMSOWEDCO. (Sheila Covarrubias)