By: Isagani B. Daba (FICCO BOD Chairman)
The Filipino Merchants Development Cooperative (FMDC) of Bankerohan finally found an able partner in FICCO – this, after two failed attempts to join forces with other coops in Davao City.
In a simple signing ceremony held at the Vanda function room of Apo View Hotel last 24 November 2009, FMDC and FICCO formalized the merger by signing a Merger Agreement in the presence of CDA Region 11 Director, Ms. Elma Oguis, who was invited as the guest of honor.
FICCO Chairman Isagani Daba signed the agreement on behalf of the largest community cooperative in the country, while Chairman Leonardo Lapuz represented FMDC. Signing as witnesses were CDA Dir. Oguis, FICCO CEO Vicente Rana and FMDC Manager Romeo Lacuna. Also present during the ceremony were FICCO Directors Jake Cornito and Arturo Aldamia, FICCO Regional Manager Elmo Bautista, and FICCO Davao Branch Manager Ellen Dizon.
The following FMDC officers were also on hand to witness the historic occasion: Vice Chair Efren Balatico and BOD members Julieta Mendros, Elsa Lofranco, and Samson de la Cruz.
Mr. Daba told the group that FICCO is also presently involved in the effort of consolidating three coop banks: the Coop Bank of Davao del Sur, the Coop Bank of Surigao del Sur, and the Misamis Occidental Coop Bank. He then explained that in a consolidation, all the participating entities will cease to exist while a new entity will emerge. In a merger, one of the participating entities will remain and will be the surviving company or cooperative. The others will cease operations.
FMDC will bring to the union its 1,000 members and P 30.0 million resources. This will increase FICCO’s assets to P 3.5 billion and membership to over 130,000.
FMDC’s membership welcomed the merger as an infusion of new life and hope to their coop that experienced financial difficulties in the last few years. FICCO’s proven management capability, visionary approach, financial muscle, and time-tested culture will all be drawn upon in turning around FMDC’s operations.
The merger is a first for FICCO, the first in Mindanao, and probably the first among credit coops in the country. This again proves FICCO’s pioneering spirit, helping a weak cooperative while at the same time working to achieve its vision of having a united and stronger coop movement. It is hoped that this move will inspire more mergers and consolidations among coops in the country.