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Orbeta cites Hall of Fame honors given Coop, improved business results

                  Ayala Coop Chairman J.P. Orbeta told Coop members that the Coop not only improved its business performance from the previous year when the coronavirus pandemic broke out but also received the “greatest honor” any coop can expect when it was elevated to the Hall of Fame of billionaire coops.

                  During the Coop’s general assembly at the Blue Room of Tower One last June 16 where he delivered the annual Chairman’s Report, Orbeta cited the recognition bestowed upon the 26-year-old Coop by the Cooperative Development Authority’s Makati Chapter, the Makati Cooperative Development Office, taking pride in the singular honor it earned after having been adjudged among the top-performing coops in the last 10 years in terms of asset growth, membership growth, and active participation in corporate social responsibility activities for the community nationwide.

                  Orbeta said that the Hall of Fame honors was the “icing on the cake” in a year that also saw the Coop turn out “more positive results” in most business indicators in 2021 compared to the previous year when the pandemic broke out.

Membership increase

                  He said total membership reached 37,233 in 2021, which represented an increase from the previous year’s 36,560, as 3,353 new members were recruited from 12 new Ayala Group member companies.

                  Besides this membership growth, the Coop also posted hefty increases in gross revenue and net surplus and continued to reach new levels in total assets and members’ share capital.

                  Orbeta said that although loans released dipped from P1.50 billion in 2020 to P1.42 billion in 2021, a healthy growth in the housing loan bookings was posted as they rose by 100 percent from P21 million to P42 million over the same period.  He said there were also 1,257 members who availed themselves last year of the Coop’s expanded Damayan Loan program, which now included exigencies arising from the pandemic, calamities, debt consolidation and the like.

Community service

                  Orbeta said that “a major component” of the Coop’s mandate, community service, also continued to be pursued, including assistance to its members during the pandemic and natural calamities as well as a scholarship program for deserving children of Coop members until middle school.

                  He said that the Coop extended financial assistance totaling P18.9 million to 3,530 members afflicted with Covid-19 and a total of P402,000 to those directly affected by several typhoons that hit the country in 2021.  It also donated 90,000 bandages worth P1.2 million for the Ayala Vaccination and Immunization Program while continuing with its regular advocacies particularly in education.  It now has 28 scholars under a joint scholarship program it pursues with Affordable Private Education Center or APEC schools, Ayala Foundation and Caritas Manila, donated five laptops for the faculty members of Pulong Buhangin National High School in Santa Maria, Bulacan, and provided assistance amounting to P748,000 to four small and micro cooperatives under the CDA’s Small Brother and Big Brother Program.

Higher dividend, patronage refund

                  Orbeta said that the Coop’s improved business performance in 2021 enabled it to raise both its dividend and patronage refund rates, with the dividend rate improving to 6.79 percent from 5.09 percent in 2020, and the patronage refund rate reaching 12.84 percent, up from the previous year’s 10.16 percent.

                  Estelito Biacora, the Coop’s treasurer, also confirmed that based on the audited financial statement by Sycip, Gorres, Velayo and Company, the Coop improved its business performance and marked “a milestone” as it recorded double-digit growth in total assets, gross revenue and net surplus.  The Coop’s total assets reached another record high, breaching the P4-billion mark for the first time in history as it grew to P4.4 billion in 2021, up 12 percent from its previous year’s total of P3.95 billion.  The same applied to members’ paid-up share capital, which also grew by 10 percent to P3.58 billion in 2021 from P3.27 billion in 2020.

                  On the other hand, gross revenue posted a significant jump of 42 percent, according to Biacora, going up to P403.3 million in 2021 from P283.3 million in 2020, while net surplus also grew by a massive 57 percent, rising to P328 million in 2021 from P208.3 million the previous year.  The coop’s loan portfolio, however, declined by 15 percent to P2.3 billion from P2.7 billion in 2020 given the “still sluggish” demand for loans, according to the treasurer.

Net surplus allocation

                  Biacora said that 15 percent of the net surplus of P328 million, or P49.2 million, was allocated for reserves as required by the CDA.  The balance of 85 percent amounting to P278.8 million was distributed to its members as dividend and patronage refund, with 83 percent, or P231.4 million, serving as dividend and 17 percent, or P47.4 million, serving as patronage refund.

                  The treasurer explained that with P231.4 million allocated as dividend, the amount divided by the members’ average share capital of P3.4 billion resulted in the year’s dividend rate of 6.79 percent.  The patronage refund rate of 12.84 percent, meanwhile, means that members who borrowed from the Coop enjoyed a rebate of 12.84 centavos for every peso of interest they paid.

                  Orbeta said that the year indeed is a significant one for the Coop.  “When we look back at 2021, we’ll not only remember a year when your Coop again rose above the challenges of the times, but a year that can only serve as an inspiration for it to continue to endeavor as your primary source of relief and financing while sustaining its various advocacies,” Orbeta told the general assembly.  “And it couldn’t have done it – nor will it be able to continue doing it – without your continuous support and trust.”

New Board members elected

                  Besides the business reports, the general assembly also saw the election prior to the proceedings of the members of the Ayala Coop’s Board of Directors that will serve for the next one or two years based on their terms of office.  Atty. Paula Romero Bautista, the corporate secretary, announced the results of the elections during the proceedings.

                  Elected were incumbent Board Chairman John Philip Orbeta, Vice Chairman Ruel Maranan, Renato Jiao, Ma. Virginia Eala, Rhea Anjanette Reyes, Enrique Manuel Jr. and Helen Gaela.

                  Orbeta, Maranan, Jiao and Eala were elected to two-year terms while Reyes, Manuel and Gaela were elected to one-year terms.

                  Also assuming another year of Coop duties themselves after similarly having been elected are the members of the Audit and Election Committees.

                  Elected as members of the Audit Committee were Lorlyn Arceo, Catherine Ang and Roslyn Palacol while voted as members of the Election Committee were Ma. Chiara Zotomayor, Nino Jesus Raneses and Evangeline Bongon.

The Coop’s Board of Directors led by Chairman J.P. Orbeta (center, in suit) presides over the general assembly, the Coop’s first since the pandemic broke out in 2020.
Coop GM Dina Orosa reads the invocation that opened the proceedings.
Attendees stand in attention as the national anthem is played.
Coop officers and members pose for a posterity shot at the end of the program. Among those in picture are Chairman J.P. Orbeta, Vice Chairman Ruel Maranan, GM Dina Orosa, CFO Jenny Cura, outgoing board members Elis Tanlapco and Jimmy Sanchez, Pepe Carlos and Jimmy Villegas.