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Saturday, November 24, 2007

FICCO Assists Coop Banks

What started as a small, closed-type credit union, the First Community Cooperative (FICCO) is now into helping cooperative rural banks get back on their feet.

The cooperative rural banks are supposed to be the bank of cooperatives. But in a reversal of roles, FICCO, a primary cooperative based in Cagayan de Oro City, has so far helped two cooperative banks, namely: the Misamis Occidental Cooperative Bank (MOCB) and the Cooperative Bank of Davao del Sur (CBDS).

The MOCB, which was closed by the BSP in 2003, was actually about to be liquidated by the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC). In fact, the PDIC has already paid many of the small depositors. But, at the instance of then CDA Region 10 Director Manuela Pelaez, FICCO, along with Clarin National High School MPC and Paglaum MPC of Misamis Occidental, Coop Bank of Misamis Oriental, Oro Integrated Coop, Del Monte coops, PFCCO-ML of Cagayan de Oro and DEARBC of Bukidnon pooled resources together to infuse some P 12.5 million in fresh funds. FICCO’s contribution is P 9.4 million. Thus, MOCB was reopened last 16 April 2007.

This unprecedented move of resurrecting a dead bank is anchored purely on the desire to help a distressed coop, as well as the bank’s depositors. Getting some returns on the investment may take sometime considering the bank’s recent history and hazy image.

Responding to another call of assistance, FICCO also infused P 10 million in fresh funds to the capital-deficient Cooperative Bank of Davao del Sur (CBDS). Laden with huge past due loans and continuing losses, the bank was about to be closed by the BSP in 2001. Under a new leadership, the stable coops of Southern Mindanao, namely, the USPD coops, Bukidnon Coop Bank, SAMULCO, Silangan MPC, Panabo MPC, Kapalong MPC, Agdao MPC, BCS, JAT coop, DASURBACO and a few others infused funds to CBDS. But despite the infusion, the bank was unable to exploit its potentials until FICCO came into the picture.

FICCO saw a lot of promise in CBDS’ micro-finance programs that provide loans to very small entrepreneurs and LGU personnel. The former are considered by many as non-bankable. FICCO hopes that its involvement will hasten the emancipation of this usually neglected sector. Uplifting their economic status and bringing them to the mainstream is a challenge FICCO will always take. It is in this area that the coop has a lot of practice.

Other coop banks, whose requests for assistance are now being reviewed by FICCO, include the Coop Bank of Lanao Norte (CBLN), the Coop Bank of Surigao del Sur (CBSS), and the Coop Bank of Camiguin (CBC).

That a primary cooperative, which started with only 17 members and P 26.30 in initial capital, has become a supporter of coop banks is indeed a remarkable feat.

FICCO actually started in 1954 as the Ateneo Credit Union, based at the then Ateneo de Cagayan, now Xavier University. Up to 1970, ACU was a closed-type coop with no more than 200 members and P 184,000 in assets. In that year, it opened itself to the Cagayan de Oro community, and after ten years of hard selling, it was able to increase its membership to almost 1,000 and its assets to P 2.8 million. The name was changed to FICCCO (First Community Credit Coop) in 1978.

The next ten years (1981-1990) was the take-off decade of FICCCO. As of 31 December 1990, the coop membership reached 6,000 and total resources stood at P 33 million. In 1992, the coop turned multi-purpose and changed its name to FICCO, dropping “Credit” from its name. It also started branching out in that year. By the end of 2000, FICCO has already opened eight branches (4 in Cagayan de Oro and one each in 4 towns of Misamis Oriental), increased its membership to 24,000 and its assets to P 454 million. It also developed some five hectares of land into a housing subdivision benefiting close to 300 members.

If those accomplishments surprised many, even from within FICCO, what unfolded during that last six years and 9 months astounds many more. During this period, FICCO opened 18 more offices (5 more in Misamis Oriental, 2 in Camiguin, 6 in Bukidnon, 2 in Lanao Norte, 1 in Butuan City, 1 in Agusan del Sur and 1 in Davao City). Resources shoots to P 2.25 billion and membership topped 102,000.

What propelled its growth is actually its unique culture that upholds or emphasizes quality service, prudent stewardship, integrity, transparency, sacrifice, low-cost/high return operations, and volunteerism among others. This culture created a positive image of the coop that converted the FICCO name into a brand. So much so that by the time FICCO opens a branch in a particular community, there are already several hundred of its residents who are already members of the nearest FICCO branch.

The commitment of the leaders, personnel and members of FICCO brings out a synergetic environment that propels its continuing growth. An average of 1,500 people joins FICCO every month and the average monthly growth in assets is P 35 million.

The high satisfaction among the members is “infectious.” Through word of mouth, the FICCO aura spreads within and among communities. It is this kind of public acceptance that positions FICCO to become a ‘rescuer’ of coop banks. (ibdaba).


matacon said...

mabuhay kayo diyan sa mindanao! inggit ako sa ginagawa niyo. yang pagtulong niyo sa mga nalulugi o nagsarang bangko ng mga koop ay tunay na makatao at makatarungan! tutal e balak niyong kumalat sa pinas, maaari bang agapan niyo rin ang angsarang albay cooperative bank? nung isang taon kasing napasyal ako napansin kong sarado na pala sila. malungkot na minsang ibig ko silang tulungan sa larangan ng komunikasyon para ipalaganap ang kanilang mga programa nung 1997-2001 pero walang responde. pwede pa kaya silang tulungan? bicolano ako, kooperatibista. salamat.

Toti said...

matacon... maliban sa Cooperative Bank of Misamis Occidental (MOCB) natulungan din ng FICCO ang Coop Bank of Davao del Sur. Ang FICCO ay bukas sa mga ganyang posibilidad at sinusuportahan ng FICCO ang usaping naglalayong pag iisa sa pamamagitan ng Merger or Consolidation ng mga cooperative bank sa Mindanao. Pwede kang sumulat sa Chairman ng FICCO. Atty. Proculo T. Sarmen, Chairman, First Community Cooperative (FICCO), Corrales-Fernandez Sts., Cagayan de Oro City 9000. Sana itoy nakakatulong ng malaki sa iyong tanong.

Anonymous said...

sana meron na rin FICCO dito sa Makati or kht saan dito sa Metro manila..please..hope mag expand pa para nationwide na..

Toti Patrimonio said...


FICCO though never made feasibility studies in putting up branches and business center have other practical considerations in putting up its offices.

FICCO normally put up a branch or business center to a place where there are considerable number of members with certain number of Share, Savings, and loans. Simply because it is the only way an office can have support. With your idea of "leapfrogging" I think the size of FICCO can now reasonably support its structure from a distant office. Why don't you try writing the members of the board?

p!nkroma said...

may FICCO na rin sa Davao City... my friends have been members of the main FICCO branch in CDO and they recommended me to join. hopefully i can join within this month.

Toti Patrimonio said...


Yes there is a FICCO Davao Branch and for this year 2 additional Business Centers will be put up in Davao.

It is a very wise decision to be a member of a coop and be a part of the cooperative movement, more so try to embrace the cooperative ideology and its principles in moving the marginalize majority to a higher level. Be a member, be an owner and feel the difference.

Anonymous said...

Ok talaga ang FICCO nakakatulong sa mga members. Ngayon A1 member ako at merong combined share and diposit more than 100 thousand. I planned to withdraw my membership kasi wala silang OFW program. I can no longer attend the mandatory seminar everytime I want to avail the loan, which means hindi na ako makapag loan pa. I heard Tagum and Silangan coops don't require seminars for members who want to avail succeeding loans. Any advise out there? Lilipat kaya ako?

Toti Patrimonio said...

I am very glad to hear that you confirm over result of FICCOs services to its members and that you have reach the prestigious classification of A1. Others find it hard to achieve but now you are there because you have discipline and yu have internalize the uniqueness of FICCO.

On the other hand, I am saddened by your plan to withdraw because FICCO don't have OFW program. I want you to know that there are many OFW member of FICCO who maintains their status as a member. Look at my post on March 20, 2007 it's a repost from an OFW in US who really appreciate FICCO.

I still believe in the spirit of continuing education because in the cooperative movement we are teaching the members the cooperative ideology and the discipline that you have as a Class A1 member.

I'll leave everything for you to decide whether you withdraw or remains. God Bless and THank you.

Mitch said...

Hi Toti, i'm glad that I've found this website regarding Ficco. I love Ficco! All of us in our Family are A1 members of Ficco. I am now working abroad, I want to pay my loan directly to Ficco. Sometimes my parents use the money for their business, it's not that I don't like it but I just want to pay my credit on time and I want to put more savings. Is there any way I can pay direct to Ficco - CDO Branch? Thanks a lot. Your feedback is highly appreciated.

Toti Patrimonio said...


I am also thankful that you have found this site. You are another witness why members working outside Philippines should not leave FICCO.

About your concern for direct deposit over FICCO bank accounts, yes we are doing that kind of transactions.

My email add is please tell me details of your name, account, and Branch. I will communicate to your branch manager and we'll be glad to extend the service to you.

Mitch said...

Hello Toti,

Thank you for your reply. I will shoot you an email after this and hopefully I can start sending my money directly to Ficco. Are you sure it's safe?

Thank you...

More power to Ficco.


Toti Patrimonio said...

I have one proven way that has been effective so far. A bank to bank transaction.

Deposit your money to FICCO through your depository bank from a foreign country. That way you don't go through an online process (web). This process has been adopted by some members who work in a foreign country to pay loans and deposit to FICCO.

Safety is one thing I honestly could not guarantee in whatever process but rest assured every banking institution has its own way to conduct due care for every client.

I hope that help.

Anonymous said...

a friend
Sir i just want to ask why you cannot accept a foreigner to be a member of your cooperative i thought you are open and voluntary and no descrimination, so why is it? can you answer me?

Anonymous said...


im luxmie, i am now in columbus ohio but my families were in cagayan de oro, i want to be a member in ur coop or not just to put my savings in ficco, how can i do that? can that be possible to have savings account in ur cooperative? pls reply

Toti said...

Hi Luxmie

I regret to say that at the moment this service is not yet available. Members are required to attend pre-membership seminar and every loan application they are required to undertake loan briefing.

Nonetheless, the good news is that FICCO now is in the process of developing a new system and online banking is one of its feature. I cannot be sure though if the timeline permits your patience. I will just give update whenever some progress comes up.

I hope that helps.

btw. realtywebsigns above is also Toti Patrimonio. I own the site. Ad sorry for the delays in updating I am assigned to some 50 km branch outside CDO. Im in Naawan Branch now.

Anonymous said...

My name is Greg Leynes, OFW, retired and a regular member of CPA Plus Cooperative established on Nov. 14, 2008 with residence office in 938 San Diego St., Sampaloc, Manila and contact no. 09216416814 and home no. (632) 7167223. website:, email:, office tel. (632) 637-3210 to 11; Fax: (632) 633 0751. Our office functions among others are as follow: Access to training and tools enhancement programs such as our \"e-worksheet accounting software series\" that will facilitate your accounting works using the familiar and simple Excel, Lotus 123 or open office worksheet applications programs;

b) Professionalize non-external audit accounting services while providing a referral system among members who are in accounting, information technology, management, business development practices and other consulting business. c) Am working on membership to include persons who are CPAs as well as accountants, consultants, etc. as regular members.
c) Would like to open satellite offices at your premises with members residing at your places.

I was appalled by your success and expertise in your FICCO organization, and would like to tie up my CPA Plus cooperative fpr services for the benefits of your members and our members too. I learned great things from your coop and hope to be a service to Filipinos as my desire since young - helping the poor to achieve richness in spirit, body and mind, and high standard of living. More power to you and happy to keep on moving.

nanz said...

i need a co-maker for my regular loan...i am class B...anyone can help me?im in iligan city branch...dis is my mobile#09058163901

archie said...

This is what we called Enthusiastic way of improving lives through FICCO.

Anonymous said...

hi sir good day ,pwedi po ba kahit saan branches of ficco maka pag widraw or mg deposit nang savings?savings lng nman yung sa akin dyan sa cdo before but as of now im here in cotabato can i deposit any of your branches near here even if cdo yong record ko? plss reply

Toti P said...

Sorry for this very late reply.

I know you can deposit and withdraw your deposit anywhere, I mean to any branches of FICCO. But the latest update of FICCO system to have a 4-digit pin might be impossible to withdraw to any Branch outside your depository branch.

I'll inquire about this. I'm now connected with CCB Consolidated Cooperative Bank (visit us at a Bank owned by primary cooperatives in the country FICCO is one of the owner.

Anonymous said...

hi po member po ako ng ficco butuan branch since 2011 may loan p po ako n binabayaran hanggang ngayon kaso po nong nakaraang taon nag transfer kami ng lugar.pwde po ba e transfer account ko from butuan to makati.pra d n ako mahirapan at makisuyo ng taga roon pra s bayad ko..sana dn po mag branch kayo s cavite..thanks

Anonymous said...

hi po member po ako ficco since 2011 kaso po nung nkaraan taon ng transfer kami ng lugar at may loan p ako binabayaran till now.pwde po ba transfer of account from butuan to makati.paano pra po di na ako mahirapan at makisuyo s mga pinsan ko butuan pra magbayad active po akong member.thanks sana din mag branch kayo here in the way po paano ako makapunta ficco makati galing cavite..

Anonymous said...

hi po member po ako ficco since 2011 kaso po nung nkaraan taon ng transfer kami ng lugar at may loan p ako binabayaran till now.pwde po ba transfer of account from butuan to makati.paano pra po di na ako mahirapan at makisuyo s mga pinsan ko butuan pra magbayad active po akong member.thanks sana din mag branch kayo here in the way po paano ako makapunta ficco makati galing cavite..