CDA seeks ₱160-M budget hike to perform quasi-judicial mandate


The chief of the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) on Wednesday expressed the need to increase the agency’s budget by P160 million to be able to exercise its functions as a regulatory, developmental and quasi-judicial body. 

CDA Undersecretary and Chairman Joseph Encabo said that as CDA received the proposed budget from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), he said the bulk of the allocation goes to the regulatory functions, while no budget was allotted for the quasi-judicial function of the agency.

“Meaning to say, our lawyers, our legal division cannot fully perform as what is expected based on the powers provided by law, which is the quasi judicial function. So in that aspect, we requested for additional funding,” Encabo said at a media briefing in Quezon City.

For the developmental function of the agency, the CDA chief described the budget as “lean,” saying, “We cannot even expand these developmental programs for co-operatives especially for micro and small.” 

That’s why, even with the “technical” increase of the budget of the agency in 2024, compared to 2023, Encabo stressed, “We are still asking for an additional of approximately P160 million in that case to cover all facets and functions and powers of CDA.” 

Under the National Expenditure Program for 2024, CDA, as an attached agency to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), is set at P1.26 billion. This is 15.93 percent of the DTI’s expenditure program of P7.91 billion. 

Encabo emphasized that the agency cannot just purely function as regulatory agency because, as clearly stated in the agency’s mandate and even in the Philippine Cooperative Code, CDA is “regulatory, developmental, and quasi-judicial” in nature.

“So we have three main powers and functions that we need to cover and the absence of those two, the CDA is not complete in that mandate or responsibility. So I hope the Congress will grant it,” Encabo added.

Meanwhile, the CDA chief unveiled the agency’s efforts and recommendations in response to President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s directive to speed up the creation of co-operatives to spur the development of the agriculture sector in the country. 

Encabo said that to expedite the creation of co-operatives, there is a need to review CDA’s existing regulations and the guidelines on how to establish a co-operative. 

“We need to streamline that’s why there’s a need to review the guidelines, the regulatory mandates of CDA and as a response to it, we have already submitted to the Office of the President our plans on how to address and respond to this directive,” the CDA chairman said. 

He also noted that CDA has already submitted to both chambers of the Congress the proposed amendments for the Republic Act No. 9520 or the “Philippine Cooperative Code of 2008” as well as the CDA’s future plans of amending its charter or the Republic Act No. 11634, which Encabo said there are areas that have to be amended in order to comply with the directive of the government. 

As of December 2022, CDA said there are 20,105 co-operatives. Of these, there are 12.1 million members and 334,000 employees. 

According to its website, CDA is a government agency mandated to promote “sustained growth and full development of the Philippine co-operatives for them to become broad-based instruments of social justice, equity and balanced national progress.”

Among the objectives of the agency is to “allow the lower income and less privileged groups to increase their ownership in the wealth of nation.”