Cooperatives as declared by law, are supposed to be created “as practical vehicle for prompting self-reliance and harnessing people power towards the attainment of economic development and social justice”. The cooperatives that have been established are many but not all are able to stay true to its vision and thus die a natural death. One of the cooperatives that has exhibited its reason for being and worth for continuously existing is Paco Savings and Credit Cooperative (PASCCO).
From its humble beginnings through the efforts of Fr. Carlos Van Ooteghem in a small office located inside the San Fernando de Dilao Parish and 26 cooperators from the Paco community in Manila, PASCCO was born to primarily help vendors avoid being trapped in getting loans with high interest from loan sharks and five-six providers. In its almost 35 years of existence, it faced challenges that could have knocked out entities of a lesser mettle but not PASCCO. It was destined to to stay, and stay it did, to serve not only its members but the community as well.
Today, PASCCO is governed by a Board of Directors composed of 5 members. The management staff oversees day-to-day operation while the Board is tasked to create policies in which all transactions are based on. It is a duly registered entity and is located at 1461 Merced cor Perdigon Sts. Paco, Manila. It maintains strong ties with regional cooperative associations.
PASCCO as a Financial Insititution
First and foremost, PASCCO remains a financial institution catering to the needs of small to medium scale businesses. It emphasizes the value of saving and extends productive and providential loans to members for personal and business needs. Members are considered co-owners of the cooperative and share in the generated profit through dividends and patronage refund.
Deposit Products include Passbook accounts, Programmed Savings Deposits, and Time Deposits. Loan Products are varied and address the many needs of members trying to meet the needs of their respective families as they pursue livelihood goals. The members’ main duty is to support the cooperative by regular savings and timely payment of loans to ensure that it will be able to serve the financial needs of each member.
PASCCO as a Community Member
PASCCO has never been an institution that existed for itself. It started out serving street vendors doing business in the community but is now serving members from all walks of life. It even serves non-members through medical missions and other activities that will benefit the community.
PASCCO as Training Ground for the Youth
PASCCO, through its Laboratory Cooperative initiative serves as the training ground for the youth. They are trained not only to be good members but also as future leaders to carry on the torch in generations to come. The youth also learn the realities of life and how to better cope through their exposure and dealings with members.
PASCCO as Family
Being a member of PASCCO is like having an extended family that is ready to support, help, and enjoy life with. Business circles widen, friends are gained, even close enough to be like real family one can depend on. Solid relationships develop through time founded on mutual trust and understanding.
PASCCO as an Advocate
Whatever worthwhile advocacy there is, PASCCO will surely be part of specifically when it comes to empowering the poor and the financially vulnerable. It advocates self help and being the best one can be without having to be dependent on any entity or individual. It is also an active advocate for environment care as shown in the participation of its officers and members in related programs like the recent clean up of Manila Bay.
My husband and I are long time members of PASCCO. We have greatly benefited from its various services and continue to do so. For those who live in Paco, Manila and nearby areas, membership in this cooperative is highly recommended. It lets you save conveniently and borrow with dignity as you reach for your dreams and live your life as you envision. Check out the monthly and special membership seminars and be on your way to financial stability.
October is the Cooperative Month but Paco Savings and Credit Cooperative has proven its worth all year round for almost 35 years.