Wednesday, 13 November 2013

FLASH: Fledgling Mambulao co-op folds up; investors shocked

Official logo of the co-op … going kaput following bickering between members and officers.


AN effort to form a trading cooperative in Mambulao, CamNorte has slammed into a brick wall and fallen apart, as shocked members watched its demise, unbelieving that it could happen so fast.

The fledgling Mambulao Multi-Purpose 
Cooperative (MMPC) has of late been buffeted by bickering between the organizers and the Mambulao-based members of the MMPC board of directors (BOD), who were elected just recently.

MMPC was an initiative of a group of overseas-based Mambulaoans, who comprised another Facebook group called Mambulao’s On A Roll (MOAR) headed by its Saudi-based chairman Jessie Lumapag (pictured right).

The irritants were spurred by the frequent questioning by Lumapag as to how the co-op was being conducted towards its registration with the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA).

In a recent BOD meeting, Elsie Dimaunahan 
(pictured right), who is the co-op treasurer and the group’s prime mover, tendered a verbal resignation.

She said she could no longer cope with the demands of the role she was playing to be able to smoothen the sailing of the co-op towards its eventual CDA list-up.

Dimaunahan had also complained to the board about the growing pressure she was getting, allegedly from Lumapag.

She said that it had become difficult for her to juggle her time between working on the co-op’s documentation required before it could be registered and frequently updating Lumapag and his group on what was happening.

However, the BOD rejected her resignation.

Instead, the directors quickly decided to change on-the-spot the name of the co-op from Mambulao Multi-Purpose Cooperative (MMPC) to Jose Panganiban Multi-Purpose Cooperative (JPMPC).

The board said it was the best way to ward off the alleged Lumapag’s meddling on their job as co-op officers.

“With the co-op’s name now changed to Jose Panganiban Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Lumapag has no more right to interfere and dictate on the board how it should do its job,” said Dimaunahan in her post, quoting the board officers.

“The Mambulao Multi-Purpose Cooperative (MMPC) is officially dead,” a member close to the board told MWBuzz.

As of this writing, the co-op was now preparing another set of documents to get registered under its new name JPMPC.

In a recent Facebook posting on the Facebook account of MMPC, Dimaunahan said she has completed the articles of incorporation and that there was no problem with regards to money.

She said the funds raised have actually exceeded the required amount of incorporators’ contributions for the authorized capitalization of P5 million.

“Ang kulang na lang po ay ang pirma ng two-thirds of local members alongside the adoption of by-laws.”

In another posting, she had advised the overseas members that they have an option to stay with the newly-named co-op (JP-MCP) and keep their contributions to its capital build-up effort.

The other option is for them to resign and withdraw their money.

Dimaunahan also said that maybe, the overseas former members could form another cooperative under the name MMPC using their contributions, which are still intact with the bank account of MMPC.

Dimaunahan. who serves as the conduit of information between the overseas Mambulaoans and the cooperative, has been updating overseas members almost daily on the activities of the co-op.

The stress she was having from this daily chores has subsequently forced her to give up.

“This job has deprived me of my time with my family.”

Lumapag, in a posting on the co-op’s Facebook account, denied the board’s complaints that he was dictating on the officers on how to handle the affairs of the cooperative, particularly with regards to the use of the money, which has now grown to P317,930.18 as of November 6, aside from a “cash on hand” of P744.

He was reacting to a proposed cash flow to initially kick off the co-op operation by January, which he felt would quickly drain out the co-op funds.

As proposed, the co-op’s initial spending that would amount to P233,460 and to come from the co-op’s outstanding funds of P317,930, would cover the following:

Administrative expense covering staff salaries/allowances – P192,000; monthly overhead (stall rental, water, electricity, office supplies, communication, meal expenses, others – P27,660; and capital outlay (office fixtures, facilities, equipment) – P13,800.

Lumapag had asked the BOD through Dimaunahan to look for other means to compensate the people who would work for the cooperative, so that the outstanding funds would not be used up in so short a time.

At the moment, the co-op under its name MMPC has 92 pioneer cooperators, with 74 locally-based and 18 overseas, who are mostly workers.

The Mambulao-based members are led by Mayor Ricarte “Dong” Padilla.

As this developed, Lumapag quit his co-op membership and withdrew his contribution.

He told the co-op through a recent posting that the three members of his family were also leaving the group and were pulling out their contributions.

Lumapag also told Dimaunahan to keep his group’s contributions intact, meaning it should not be used as part of the required capitalization that the newly-named co-op JP-MPC would submit to CDA as a registration requirement.

Meanwhile, the co-op’s overseas members were watching closely and waiting for clues whether to continue supporting the new co-op that was going to be registered under a new name: JP-MPC.

Some have expressed concerns over their contributions, which they said were poured into the co-op as investment for the future of their families.

Others have reacted, saying that the ongoing quarrel over how the co-op is to be handled has brought to the surface an old stigma that usually put a cooperative enterprise in bad light.

“Lagi namang ganyan sa kooperatiba … awayan nang awayan ang mga miyembro …(it’s always like in a cooperative…. members are always quarreling over issues),” one overseas observer said in a private message.

The co-op was formed by Mambulaoans On A Roll (MOAR) group to create an investment opportunity for Mambulaoans in town and overseas and to provide jobs for the less-privileged members of the community.

The co-op is initially looking at trading consumer goods and eventually spins off to other ventures that would generate more revenues and deliver dividends to its investors.

The new co-op under the name JP-MCP now awaiting registration with CDA hopes to start business operations this January, according to Dimaunahan in an earlier posting update.

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