Movements in the co-op regulatory body

By: Malou Guanzon Apalisok June 04,2018 - 09:35 PM

Malou Guanzon-Apalisok

The Cooperative Development Authority CDA which governs PH cooperatives is currently going through a period of significant changes that some officers may be living in dread in anticipation of a number of investigations being conducted in the agency’s Manila Extension Office MEO.

It may be recalled the agency was heavily criticized after a Manila-based federation raised alarms over the business operations of Nutriwealth MPC.

I wrote about this controversy in previous articles so I am not repeating the substantive issues here for lack of space.

Suffice it to say that the case against Nutriwealth, by virtue of the Cease and Desist Orders CDOs issued by CDA MEO would have been enough grounds to cancel its registration except that the organization appears to have ardent supporters in the agency.

The loudest whisper in the regulatory body is the closeness of NW officials with Chairman Orlando Ravanera.

Well-placed sources told this corner that it was through his efforts that MEO gave clearance for NW to launch a marketing campaign in Hong Kong and the Middle East despite legal restrictions.

Now that the shady transactions have been exposed, OFWs who invested their money lured by the promise of a windfall after 5 to 10 years are left holding an empty bag.

That NW even bagged major awards through CDA’s Gawad Parangal despite its questionable schemes all the more suggests of an unholy alliance between certain officials in the agency and the errant organization.

The NW controversy practically stirred a hornet’s nest causing significant movements in the agency.

Replacing Nonie Hernandez in the helm of CDA MEO is Atty. Eric Robles whose marching orders is to investigate bogus coops and certain agency officials who practically and unabashedly lawyered for these organizations.

Running after fraudulent coops is a job cut out for Atty. Robles because aside from NW, some six coops operating in Camp Crame are also involved in illegal and immoral practices.

Charging excessive interest rates and placing borrowers deep in debt are trademarks of a loansharking business but sadly this is being perpetrated inside the police agency, of all places and by a supposed cooperative.

Meanwhile, two housing coops operating in Metro Manila are also under investigation, same with another enterprise which collects savings from members but funnels them in 5 corporations.

The OFW Coop whose business is being marketed by CoopHub is also under investigation and their cases will be resolved in a matter of days, according to my source.

As reports of widespread financial shenanigans descended on the CDA, Chairman Orlando Ravanera filed a leave of absence citing personal reasons.

He has been scarce since April after the Ombudsman filed administrative charges against him with regards to the DANECO case. Because the case carries a criminal liability, he is also facing charges before the Sandiganbayan.

Ravanera’s application for a leave of absence has yet to be approved by Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco. However, since the cases carry the penalty of a suspension order, this will create a vacuum in the CDA chairmanship for at least 3 to 6 months.

The dire situation prompted the board to nominate Administrator Benjie Oliva as OIC Chairman.

His designation becomes official as soon as CabSec Evasco approves Ravanera’s leave of absence or if the Ombudsman and Sandiganbayan issue the preventive suspension order, whichever comes first.

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TAGS: body, co-op, Malou Guanzon Apalisok

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