The Pantukan Chamber of Commerce (PCC) which has been organized in the year 2002 with its chairman late Irene M. Ang has an advocacy of sustainable business community. We envisioned to inspire the community on how to augment their income because this community is our major partner in our business. The members of PCC, since it was organized, was strongly bonded and supportive and joined all government activities like celebration of nutrition month, Araw ng Pantukan and other activities. We had adopted several severe malnourished children every year, supported the barangay tanod and other police force, for the maintenance of our peace and order.
In the year 2005 while the PCC had a meeting, we were discussing problems, needs and other activities, where we can be of help to the community. One of the problem that came out was the problem of the coconut farmers. The dropping of copra price, the conversion of coconut farms to cavendish banana plantation, was very alarming, For all we knows that if this coconut trees will be cut down and planted into banana this will cause flash floods which is very destructive, hazardous to our environment, lives of people and properties. Pantukan will suffer every now and then floods because no more trees can hold water. It is in this point that the PCC conceptualize to help the coconut farmers by way of producing Virgin Coconut Oil(VCO) and other products that can be produced out of coconuts.
To solve this problem the Board of Directors (BOD) of the PCC invited a personnel from the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) assigned in Pantukan by the name of Ms. Sally Mińoza, who was very eager to help us and discussed the benefits we can get from VCO. During their meeting, the BOD-PCC decided to invite personnel from Regional PCA office.
On September 2005 we had a meeting at Magnaga Waters with the PCA- ROXI personnel and invited local agencies like the NGO officers, officers of the Small Coconut Farmers Organization Federation, PSAM officer of the Roman Catholic Church its Parish Priest, Asst. Parish Priest, LGU officers and farmers who were interested in this issue.
On October 2005, we had three days “Hands On Seminar” on how to produce VCO conducted by PCA Personnel headed by PCA-ROXI Manager Dr. Lorenzo Orellaneda, Technical Specialist Engr. Evelyn Caro, Provincial Officer and Ms. Sally Mińoza who stayed with the group for three consecutive days at Welborn Beach Resort. On this three days seminar we have produced the first VCO. After the seminar, the BOD-PCC decided to form a Cooperative. Series of meetings were conducted to finalize of who were interested to become a member of the cooperative. A seminar for Pre- Membership seminar was conducted by the Municipal Agriculture Officer (MAO) to the perspective members of the cooperative. We were able to form the cooperative with only 21 members.
The purpose and reasons why this cooperative was organized are as follows.
- To help the coco farmers increase their income by giving them a reasonable price.
Ex. Current trader price, we will add one peso per kilo and honest weighing.
- To stop the cutting of coconut trees due to conversion into banana plantation which will cause flooding.
- To help farmers by giving them patronage refund and dividend if they patronize the cooperative
- To give them incentives by way of giving organic fertilizer
- To generate employment
- Help in the environmental protection
- Educate farmers on how to care of their coconut trees.
- To help coconut farmers to be free from the bondage of debt from the so called “Cash Advances” (Vale) from Local Coconut Traders which also bear interest.