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Cooperative Month in Iligan officially opened, Saturday morning, October 3, at the Freedom Park here.

The program was opened by Iligan City Cooperative Development Council Chairman Dr. Eufemio L. Callo, Ph.D., of the MSU-IIT Multipurpose Cooperative, the leading cooperative in Iligan.

He reported that as of December 31, 2014, there were already 24,652 registered cooperatives throughout the country with a total of 7,675,283 members nationwide.

He also reported that in the National Capitol Region (NCR) alone, there are 1,324,733 members and 804,671 in Region 10.

From January 1 to December 31, 2014, 37,321 members of newly registered coops were added.

Aggregate assets of all the cooperatives nationwide have reached P248,539,541,000.83.

The volume of business in 2014 amounted to P313,835,095,083.04 of which P64,715,223,548.83 was accounted in the NCR and P17,482,676,567.00.

Nationwide 290,662 people are employed by the cooperatives of which 19,820 are in the NCR.

The opening program that began with a Holy Mass at the Redemptorist Church in barangay San Miguel was participated by 16 cooperatives of Iligan.

SP Committee Chairman on Cooperatives and Livelihood Councilor Roy Openiano who had served as Department Head of the Cooperative Development and Livelihood Office before he joined politics lament that agricultural cooperatives in Iligan have not grown remarkably.

He stressed that the thrust of the local government should now be on the development of agricultural cooperatives considering that Iligan City has an annual livelihood fund of about P3 Million from the share of the national wealth.

Acting Mayor Ruderic C. Marzo underscored the important role of the cooperatives in the growing economy of the nation.

Chief of Staff of the Congressional District of Iligan City Queenie Belmonte, representing his father assured those present of the continuing support of Congressman Vicente F. Belmonte in cooperative and livelihood development.

She recalled that as City Councilor in 2004-2007, his father was the Chairman of the SP Committee on Cooperatives and Livelihood.

She said recently Congressman Belmonte distributed livelihood grants through the Department of Labor and Employment to deserving beneficiaries.

Congressman Belmonte, she said preferred to give the grants because he knows that many beneficiaries of livelihood programs of the city government have not paid their loans.

Cooperatives Development and Livelihood Office (CDLO) Head Alice Coronado thanked everyone for participating in the opening of the 2015 Cooperative Month as she encouraged everyone to continue efforts to make the cooperative movement in Iligan prosper. The New Ranao Star

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