Last October was co-op month in the Philippines and we took the opportunity to re-introduce LMM’s connection with the Maritime Multi-Purpose Cooperative (MMPC). Crew and staff of LMM are welcome to become members and even run as officers of MMPC. Membership gives you a piece of ownership in the co-op, and access to services such as loans and gift deliveries.
MMPC is an independent organization outside of LMM, and a cooperative that’s duly recognized by the Cooperative Authority of the Philippines. As an institutional coop, its members are from other crewing and logistics based organizations.
What is a co-op?
Co-ops come in many shapes and forms, from modest agricultural co-operatives in rural Visayas to the huge Dairy Co-ops of the USA whose actions can dictate whether your Big Mac has cheese or not. In any case, all of them fit this definition by the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA).
an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise.International Cooperative Alliance
Unlike a corporation or a traditional company, a co-op is owned by everyone inside it. And if the co-op earns, so do you. And because you have a stake in the cooperative, you also have the right to vote on co-op related matters.
Modern co-ops are safe and trustworthy institutions regulated by the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) and governed by the 2008 Cooperative Code of the Philippines. In fact, the Philippines is home to thousands of co-ops. The Cooperative Code states different purposes for why you would organize a Co-op, and all of them are basically aimed at improving the lives of the co-op’s members.
MMPC’s Goal: achieve socio-economic well-being
Members of the maritime industry created MMPC along with the assistance of an NGO. The goal was to address the financial emergencies of their community of crew and maritime professionals, while providing a safe vehicle for savings, income, and financial discipline. MMPC was originally formed to extend capital at competitive rates (1.5% interest on loans), and other forms of assistance to its members without the burden that other lending intuitions have imposed.
MMPC has also hosted learning sessions on financial wellness and livelihood. It has also actively supported PGH, a local hospital in the co-op’s vicinity. Members are more than welcome to initiate projects and ideas that would help uplift the lives of everyone in MMPC and its surrounding community.
Want to be part of a coop?
If you’re here working with us at LMM, whether sea-based or land-based, you’re free to join the Maritime Multipurpose Cooperative! Simply message MMPC’s Official Facebook Page to get started. Voluntary MMPC Membership is just one of the benefits you’ll get as part of our crew. You can read more about our other seafarer services here.