ILO's participation at the 3rd International Conference on Cooperatives in the Philippines

From 15-16 November 2018, ILO Enterprise Development Specialist from ILO CO Manila participated in the 3rd International Cooperative Conference on Cooperatives (ICOOP2018) organized by the Institute of Cooperatives and Bio-Enterprise Development (ICOPED) of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) at the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) in Tagaytay, the Philippines.

News | 26 November 2018
With the theme “Cooperative Transformation in the Changing Global Economy”, the 3rd International Cooperative Conference on Cooperatives (ICOOP2018) aimed at contributing to the driving forces of cooperative transformation towards strengthening the cooperative movement and improving its sustainability. In addition to the ILO, 275 participants from 36 cooperatives, 15 academic institutions, 20 government agencies and institutions, 2 non-governmental organizations, and several international speakers and participants from Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand were at the ICOOP2018 conference.

They discussed a range of topics from rural financial risks in the context of cooperatives and the disruptions affecting the future of cooperatives to the need for improved statistics on cooperatives in line with the guidelines adopted at the 20th International Labour Statisticians Conference (ICLS) and the role of financial cooperatives in assisting their members to better manage their financial resources beyond provision of credit. The Conference also hosted 11 parallel paper presentations on performance, productivity and innovation as well as eight parallel demo-workshops withresource speaker covering finance, new technologies and sectoral good practices.

Hideki Kagohashi, ILO Enterprise Specialist
Hideki Kagohashi, ILO Enterprise Specialist from the ILO Country Office for the Philippines (CO-Manila) delivered a presentation titled “Disruptive Technologies, Future of Work and Cooperative Future” at one of the plenary sessions. His presentation focused on the impact of the disruptive technologies and the Fourth Industrial Revolution in the Philippines, the future of work challenges and opportunities related to disruptive technologies, and how cooperatives could engage with the challenges and opportunities. The ILO specialist also talked about the long standing support of the ILO to cooperatives. He quoted the words of Simel Esim, Manager of ILO Cooperatives Unit, “In today’s changing world of work, there is a need for alternatives that can reverse the deterioration of worker rights. Cooperatives have a unique opportunity to make an impact, given the growing global requests for new forms of business and growth models”.

The key messages of the ILO presentation were well reflected in the synthesis speech given by Dr Salvador P. Catelo, ICOPED Director and the ICOOP2018 Chair, and the response to the synthesis by Engr. Sylvia O. Paragua, CEO, National Confederation of Cooperatives (NATCCO).

ICOOP2018 also featured the adoption of the guidelines on statistics of cooperatives at the 20th International Conference of Labour Statisticians (ICLS) in October 2018, and how the Cooperative Development Authority of the Philippines (CDA) will work with the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) to operationalize the guidelines in the Philippines’ context. The presentation was delivered by Dr. Josefina B. Bitonio, Regional Director, CDA-Dagupan Extension Office, who attended the 20th ICLS as part of the Philippine delegation.

Since the international year of cooperatives in 2012, ICOOP is held every three years by ICOPED, College of Economics and Management, UPLB. The next Conference will be organized in 2021. The ILO will continue to explore collaboration with the cooperative movement in the Philippines for sustainable enterprise development and decent work for all.