The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) will soon forge a stronger partnership with small farmer cooperatives in the country in implementing infrastructure projects and basic services.
DILG Secretary Ismael ‘Mike’ D. Sueno said that cooperatives will soon be included in the Department’s new program dubbed as LGU P4 or Public-Private Partnership for the People Initiative for Local Governments.
“As a former local chief executive, cooperative for farmers is one of my expertise so we will soon include them in the LGU P4,” Sueno explained.
Launched in September last year, LGU P4 serves as a vehicle for private sector participation in the provision of infrastructure and social services that will be carried out by the local sectors.
The DILG Secretary explained that strengthening of cooperatives will be patterned after the successful experiences in the countries of Taiwan, Israel, and South Korea.
“While these countries are constantly under threat from their neighboring countries, their farmer cooperatives are still very strong and successful,” Sueno said.
“In Taiwan for instance, their farmers are 62 years old on average, so instead of personally tilling the land, they just hire farm service to do the manual work for them,” he added.
Cooperatives are private entities that can contribute to the growth of local economy because of their own entrepreneurial activity that can create jobs and earn additional income among its members through shares of stocks or dividends.
Under the LGU P4 scheme, the LGU can forge public-private partnership with cooperatives and other private sectors through the following schemes, among others: Build-and-Transfer (BT); Build-Lease-and-Transfer (BLT); Build-Operate-and-Transfer (BOT); Contract-and-Operate (CAO); Develop-Operate-and-Transfer (DOT); Rehabilitate-Operate-and-Transfer (ROT); Concession; Joint Venture (JV); Lease or Affermage; Management Contract using or without LGU funds; Service Contract using or without LGU funds; Divestment or Disposition; Corporatization; Incorporation of a Subsidiary with private sector equity; or Gratuitous Donations.
Sueno added that by tapping farmer’s cooperatives in the LGU P4 program, the coop can assist LGUs in different ways like sharing of expertise, providing trainings, machinery and other resources to small farmers.
He also cited than in Piddig, Ilocos Norte, the LGU entered into a joint venture with the farmers cooperative. Such practice can be replicated in other LGUs across the country through the LGU P4 program.
LGU P4 was conceptualized in support of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s commitment to promote economic and social development with the help of all concerned stakeholders.
During his first State of the Nation Address (SONA), Pres. Duterte identified roads, bridges, airports, tourism, harvest facilities, public health, irrigation, rail, ferry system, and public wi-fi among the priority core infrastructure projects.