My parents are running three market stalls in San Juan City. Previously it was just a public market until it was privatized six years ago. I practically can say that there was really plenty of stall owners way back when it was still a public market. Maybe that was the reason they established "Tanglaw Cooperative."
The said cooperative was really very helpful to the market stall owners who are members of this. It goes like they will need to establish certain equity (cash deposit) to be a member. Upon membership the member or the stall owner is now entitled to apply for a loan. The amount will depend on the rules and regulations of the cooperative. Applying for a loan is not that hard as compared to a bank loan. As long as you are a member with good credit and membership standing a week is enough to process and approve a loan with less documentation and requirements. Also, the terms are very friendly when it comes to interest rate and period of payment since the money being circulated is also the money of the stall owners availing of loan.
When a cooperative helpful? A cooperative is a business organization owned and operated by individuals for their mutual benefit. As long as this objective is met any cooperative can be said helpful among its members. The members can count on the cooperative for a cash loan that can be used to their businesses. It is very easy to apply and the terms are good. The members also receive an annual dividend from the interest income accumulated from various loans of members. For members to avail of a much bigger loan, they just need to increase their equity and maintain a good credit standing.
When a cooperative useless? It is really hard for the cooperative members to know that their hard-earned money had been manipulated and taken by their officers. This is what actually happened to the cooperative of my parents. The officers whom they trusted cheated them and all their money is gone with the wind. They cannot make a loan anymore and even cannot withdraw their equity because everything had been taken. This is the side of a cooperative a member wouldn't want to happen.
Right now there are several members of the cooperative who are making moves to recover whatever possible money or properties from the erring officers. I just hope that when they re-establish their cooperative they will be more vigilant and monitor the operation before it is too late again.