NFCPWD and CCA enter into partnership


Visit of CCA Programme Officer - Asia and Microfinance International Dev't, Mr. Derek Cameron; CIDA Officer, Mr. Gerald Belanguer; CCA Chief Consultant of Business Development, Mr. Camilo Casals with NFCPWD Officers.

The year 2007 was a great year for the NFCPWD. Aside from the Php90-M Contract awarded to us by the DepEd which provided a decent direct and indirect employment to more than 500 PWDs and many other blessings, the Canadian Cooperative Association (CCA) entered into a partnership with NFCPWD covering March 2007 to March 2010.

The CCA's technical assistance to NFCPWD is for the promotion of decent and productive work for differently-abled women and men specifically for the growth and development of their small and medium scale enterprises. This is geared towards the improvement of the Federation's management and overall ability to provide sustainable business development and support services to strengthen the performance of existing and new cooperatives of PWDs. The key components of the assistance are as follows:

1.) Implementation support to school desk contracts awarded to the NFCPWD by the DepEd.

This is focused on assisting the NFCPWD in generating revenues for the national organization and at least 15 primary cooperatives by enabling them to enter and deliver multi-million peso contracts with the DepEd. This includes capacity-building for social marketing, contract negotiation, production planning and management, managing sources and uses of funds and mobilization and coordination of member-cooperatives to produce and deliver component parts of the contracted number of school desks. The revenues are expected to lay down the foundation for the financial sustainability of these cooperatives.

2.) Strengthening the NFCPWD at the primary and secondary levels.

Adherence to cooperative principles and practices is a key to the competitive positioning of the Federation. Thus, through this component, the PWDs with little access to capital and are still learning the mechanics of entrepreneurship are being strengthened and trained to pool their resources together to be able to effectively and efficiently enter and remain in the business. Solidarity among PWD cooperatives is necessary to avoid fragmentation and undercutting of bids. The consolidation of PWD worker cooperatives will pave the way for the setting of performance standards that will build their clients' confidence.

3.) Business and organizational development support to new PWD cooperatives especially women's cooperatives.

This component will help the Federation mobilize new worker cooperatives in regions where the DepEd wants significant number of school desks produced and delivered to local schools. Initially, an informal group of PWD workers will be sub-contracted to participate in DepEd pro-jects. After at least one production cycle, these informally organized work groups shall be registered and organized as full-fledged PWD worker cooperatives that will affiliate with the National Federation. New cooperatives will allow for more female PWDs to access jobs and business opportunities.

To be provided through this component will be entrepreneurship training, business development support and promotion of good cooperative governance that will enable differently-abled women and men to develop confidence to participate, invest and exercise co-responsibility and leadership in their cooperatives and in the Federation.

Planning workshop for DepEd contract

4.) Occupational Health and Safety.

This component is focused on a health and safety program and a specific plan of action designed to prevent accidents and occupational diseases. This includes the elements required by the health and safety legislation at a minimum coupled with education and prevention of industrial injuries. This also provides a health and safety statement of principles and general rules that serve as guide for action.

The CCA's technical assistance to the Federation was made possible through the efforts of Mr. Camilo "Milo" Casals, who has been supporting the Federation since the Socio-Economic Development through Cooperatives in the Philippines (SEDCOP) program in 2003. Mr. Casal is the chief technical adviser of the CCA to the Federation.

To CCA and Milo, thank you for the warm partnership.