Microfinance Innovations in Cooperatives

The NATCCO Network partners with co-ops to put up branches in areas with high poverty incidence to provide microfinance services – savings deposits, loans, and insurance.  

The NATCCO Network provides technical and financial assistance to these co-ops – mostly micro- and small co-ops – to enable them to improve the lives of the ‘unbanked’ who are willing and able to put up and operate small enterprises.

The NATCCO Network currently assists Agrarian Reform co-ops under the MICARAS Program of the Department  of Agrarian Reform.

  • There are currently 61 partner cooperatives with 79 offices under the MICOOP Program, of which 46 are ARCs (58%)

  • These co-ops serve 157,286 members with 5,698 Agrarian Reform Beneficiary households, and 15,034 youth members
    41,172 youth are depositors in the Aflatoun Program

  • Majority of MICOOP offices (MOs) are medium-size in terms of Assets (49) in asset size, 29 small, and 1 micro (below P3 Million Assets)

  • Micoop Offices are run by 720 management and staff

  • 4 new MICOOP offices were established 2018

  • 25 Micoop Offices availed of KAYA Payment Platform and 17 offer Textblast

  • Additional 4 Micoop Offices availed Aflatoun in 2018

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Education, Training and Consultancy

NATCCO Network began as the National Training Center for Cooperatives in January 1977 to standardize the training of co-op leaders, managers, and staff so that co-ops can better serve their members. Today, after more than 40 years, NATCCO Network still offers excellent training on every aspect of co-op operations.  The goal remains for co-ops to be champions in their communities.  In 2018, our Training Team organized and conducted : 178 Seminars To train 5,238 cooperators from 910 cooperatives Beyond mere education, NATCCO Network also provided Professionalization for 74 co-ops, which provided 40 piecemeal interventions Consultancy Larger co-ops with more complex operations need one-on-one support.  Thus, NATCCO Network offers tailor-made strategies in the areas of Credit Management, Financial Management, Human Resource Management, and Marketing and Sales. 44 co-ops engaged in Consultancy Services with 11 advisors, 22 co-ops in full interventions and 41 piecemeal interventions 22 co-ops. Co-ops undergoing Consultancy represent a sizable portion of the NATCCO Network’s cooperatives in terms of Assets, totaling some Php 76.3 Billion, belonging to 1.45 million members. The NATCCO Consultancy Group was re-established in 2012 with assistance from Canadian co-op federation, Desjardin Development Internationale. Knowledge Resource Center The Knowledge Resource Center (KRC) unit was formed as the research and program development arm of the NATCCO ETCG.  This unit's main objective is to transform the ETCG into a Cooperative Academy of NATCCO (CAN).  In 2018, it launched the Co-op LAMP (Leadership and Management Program), which granted the title of “Certified Co-op Manager” (CCM) to 28 pioneering graduates.   Now, it has completed five (5) batches for Co-op LAMP and has granted more than fifty (54) CCM.  On March 2019, NATCCO's E-Learning is also transferred to KRC to improve its content and platform, ensuring easier access to co-op education by the primary cooperatives. By October 2019, KRC will also start offering the Strategic HR Management Program for the cooperatives.  They will also hold the 1st CCM Summit by November of 2019.  

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Access Branding

NATCCO, together with the Association of Asian Confederation of Credit Unions (ACCU), aims to develop primary coops into world-class institutions by making them the best in microfinance services in their communities. So our Training and Consultancy Department, offers ACCESS which stands for “A1 Competitive Choice for Excellence in Service and Soundness”. ACCESS Branding will arm your cooperative with the tools needed to build the organization-wide quality assurance strategy.  The aim is the sustainability of your cooperative – or more specifically a better bottom line. To monitor viability, the average cooperative is required by the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) to submit its yearly COOP PESOS rating.  Although the COOP PESOS rating covers nine different aspects of a cooperative’s operations, the total number of indicators or ratios is only 17. But ACCESS Branding goes further.  The ACCU developed the Balanced Scorecard architecture comprising 86 indicators on four aspects of operations – finance, learning and growth, customer-member processes and internal business processes. Thus, the requirements for a cooperative to get ACCESS Certification is clearly more stringent.  ACCESS indicators more accurately reflect the financial state or health of a cooperative. In human terms, the blood pressure, pulse rate and blood count of a person are good indicators of a person’s health.  But they may be quite superficial.  So to get a really accurate picture of one’s health, it would be best to undergo other tests like an Electro Cardiogram, 2D Echo, chest X-rays, LDL, HDL, creatinine levels, blood sugar and cholesterol counts. With this information a doctor has a better picture of a person’s condition, and can then confidently decide what treatments to apply. In business terms, ACCESS requires coops to use the same financial information they have always had and use it to create ratios that will identify which areas in their operations need attention, and improve their operations and services.  The result is efficient services and higher profits. One ratio, for instance is the standard measurement for liquidity: liquid investments plus liquid assets minus short-term payables divided by savings deposits and time deposit accounts.  ACCESS requires this figure to be above 15%. Another ratio is Rates on Return on Cost which is the Amount available for Interest on Share Capital divided by average share capital. While COOP PESO rating is self-rated by the cooperative concerned, ACCESS auditing is done by representatives from NATCCO and ACCU. ACCESS Branding also has some tangible, non-monetary requirements that a cooperative needs like developing a website that is frequently updated, for instance; or Yearly Growth in Membership with a set goal of 12%.  Growth in Assets should exceed the period’s inflation rate by up to 10% higher.   Loyalty Incentives are also to be given to long-time customers.  For coop employees,  the coop should come up with a Comprehensive Operations Manual detailing all procedures ensuring consistency in the delivery of services and decision-making.   Nothing is left to imagination in the management and procedures of an ACCESS-Branded cooperative.  Virtually every step in all processes is written down and standardized. ACCESS Branding is a challenge but the rewards and prestige are worth the effort. ACCESS Branding starts with a two-day orientation / seminar.

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