Collective Enterprise as a Workplace: A Philippine case
Benjamin R. Quiñones, Jr., November 2019
Revitalising rural economy, through & to Social Solidarity Economy. International Solidarity Economy Conference on Transformative Economy, Yogyakarta, Indonesia on Nov 12 & 13, 2019. Organised by ASEC – Asian Solidarity Economy Council
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The Payoga-Kapatagan Multipurpose Cooperative (PK-MPC) had its origins as a development NGO in Isabela province of the Philippines, registered with the Securities & Exchange Commission in 1985 as the “Payoga NGO”. Payoga-NGO provided each farm household a stock grant of two goats, one male and one female. The farm household was expected to return to the NGO 3 offsprings, regardless of gender, within 12 months. But the stock dispersal program was not sustainable.
In 1992, some 100 farmers in search of a more sustainable approach established the Kapatagan Multi-purpose Cooperative (K-MPC). The self-help collective approach proved to be more succesful than the charity approach. In 1999, the Payoga-NGO merged with K-MPC and the merger was registered with the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) as the Payoga-Kapatagan Multi-purpose Cooperative.
Today, PK-MPC is a growing organization with a strong membership of 3,408 farmer members grouped into 225 clusters at 15 members per cluster. More than fifty percent of members are women.
The 5 SSE Dimensions of PK-MPC’s Collective Enterprise
SSE is a kind of economy that focuses on meeting people’s basic needs (the social aspect). It is established & sustained through cooperation and mutual help of local people (the solidarity aspect).
1. Socially responsible governance: Leaders, managers and staff/workers of the community-based social enterprise (CBSE) have the attitude of a hero - they are selfless (in contrast to self-centered), they always think of the people’s welfare, they are motivated to serve the people. They have special consideration for the socially excluded (women, children, PWDs) and marginalized (bottom 40, poor, assetless) and include them as stakeholders of CBSE.
2. Edifying ethical values: Leaders, manages & staff/workers of CBSE possess the values of integrity, humility & simplicity, compassion, solidarity, mutual sharing and caring, and perseverance.
3. Social development - putting human beings at the center of development. SSE is a type of economy that prioritizes the satisfaction of people’s basic needs: food, education, shelter, peace and order (social harmony), and social protection
4. Environmental conservation: SSE is a type of economy that strives to protect and conserve the environment such that nature does not only provide for the needs of the present generation but also the needs of future generation.
5. Economic Sustainability: SSE is a not a charity. Like any other type of economies, SSE endeavors to generate commensurate profit to be able to provide additional capital for expansion, risk mitigation, and replacement of old technology.
With socially responsible governance, edifying ethical values, and the triple bottom lines (people - social development; planet - environmental conservation; and profit - economic sustainability), SSE is fully geared to contribute to sustainable development goals (SDGS).
In the case of PK-MPC, the SSE features of its collective enterprise contribute to SDG goals 1, 2, 5, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, & 16.