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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

54th GA Approves By-laws Amendment, Stand-by Line

The series of 16 branch assemblies held in two weekends, March 8, and March 14 and 15, 2009 unanimously approved the amendment of the By-laws of FICCO. With the approval of the amendment, business centers serving at least 1,000 members will be able to elect their own credit committee, and audit and inventory committee.

By having its own credit committee, a business center will be able to service the loan needs of its members faster. It will also reduce the cost, on the part of the members, of transacting business with FICCO. Thus, the members of the Lugait Business Center will no longer travel to Naawan Branch just to undergo interview with that branch’ CRECOM.

The amendment also allows the 1,000-member business centers to have their own audit and inventory committee. As the main function of the AIC is to protect the assets of the Coop, it is hoped that the presence of a watchdog body like the AIC at the business center level will ensure that transactions are above board and slippages are minimized.

A highly contested issue was GA resolution 2009-03 that will allow FICCO to establish a P 100 million stand-by credit line with either DBP or LBP. With FICCO’s highly liquid cash position, those against the resolution questioned the need to set-up the line. The resolution proponents explained that with FICCO’s drive to play catalytic and developmental roles that calls for infusion of funds, e.g. coop banks, COWD, the stand-by line will serve as a back up to ensure no disruption in FICCO’s operation.

The arguments posted against GA resolution 2009-03 seek to focus FICCO only to its existing services and devices. “We have grown slowly, without the need of external funding, so why do we borrow money now?” and “why do we need to rescue coop banks and water districts?” were the common refrain of those opposed to the resolutions. Those for the resolutions argue that as a leading coop, FICCO has a responsibility to take up the cudgels of those coops (and their members) in need of help. With FICCO’s proven systems, procedures and culture, it is very capable in taking up the challenges of helping others.

Given FICCOs cash position, it is hoped that the stand-by line will not be availed of but will merely serve as a psychological cushion assuring smooth operation of the Coop’s banking operation. GA resolution 2009-03 was approved by a vote of 21,312 for and 2,578 against.

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