Sunday, January 23, 2011


                                     The VICTO Logo
The distinctive VICTO logo is symbolic of the center’s whole ethos. 
The center square depicts VICTO as an institution committed to promote characterized by self reliance, mutual assistance, democracy, justice, and nationalism. The circle  itself symbolizes what VICTO aims to achieve: Total Human Development. The four quarter circles highlight VICTO’s management roles as: a social development agency, people’s movement, business enterprises and internal affairs.  The horizontal lines represent the center’s lines the center’s linkage with the society and other institutions as well as uniting people in the visayas through the co-operatives movement. They represent the center of various  programs and services which are designated to assist the co-operatives.  The vertical lines highlight the promotion, development and integration of the co-operative movement.
                           Why Co-ops? 
They could not have known it when they started in 1844, but the 28 weavers in Rochdale, England who decided to pool their resources and open a store, were the pioneers for what today is a world-wide phenomenon: co-operatives. The weavers were motivated by a single dream: to control their own lives.

Rochdale was milling town in the north of England. The factory owners controlled almost every aspect of the weavers’ lives including where they could live, shop and buy.
The weavers lived in appalling conditions. They were caught in catch-22 situation because the shops were often owned by their employers. Faced with little or no choice, the weavers had to buy poor quality food at high prices.   
 Then one day they decided to open their own store. There was one big problem though: individually, they did not have enough money to start. Inspired by teachings of Robert owen, they decided to pool their resources. Each person contributed a small amount of money.
  When the fund was big enough they were able to rent and buy supplies. Their shop was opened on 21 December 1844. It sold essentials goods such as candles, tea, fuel, and basic foodstuffs.

The weaver valued their newly found freedom of choice. The store enabled them to buy quality goods at fair prices. They had discovered the value of co-operatives as powerful tool for economic freedom.
However, apart from breaking monopolies there are other reasons for forming or joining a co-operative. In VICTO’s experience these includes: a need for better access to services; a desire to control an enterprise through ownership; and, an opportunity to share in the profits of the businesses the members’ patronize Today, the cooperatives movement has over 700 million members world -wide.  The variety of co-ops is breathtaking. From simple consumer stores and credit facilities to tourism, insurance, education, healthcare, youth and aged care. The possibilities are endless. Co-operatives membership and capital make them an influential body in many of the communities where they exist.
           The Cooperative Identity, Values and Principles
The International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) celebrated the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the Rochdale pioneers’ co-operative in 1994. To commemorate the event - and more accurately reflect the membership of the movement (85 percent of ICA members are based in emerging economies) - a new statement on the co-operative identity was written. The statement defined a co-operatives as “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”. The co-operative values are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equity and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, co-operative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others. The seven co-operatives principles are guidelines put their values into practice.
First principle: Voluntary and Open Membership Co-operatives are voluntarily organizations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership without gender, racial, political or religious discrimination. 
Second principle: Democratic Member Control Co-operatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions. Men and women serving as elected representatives are accountable to the membership. In primary co-operatives, members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote) and co-operatives at other levels are organized in democratic manner.   
Third principle: Member Economic Participation Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their co-operative. At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the co-operative. Members usually received limited compensation, if any, on capital subscribed as condition of membership. Members allocate surpluses for any of the following purposes: developing  their co-operative, possibly by setting up reserves, part of which at least would be indivisible; benefitting members in proportion to their transaction with the co-operative; and, supporting others activities supported by the membership.     
Fourth principle: Autonomy and Independence Co-operatives are autonomous, self- help organization controlled by their members. If they enter into agreement with other organizations, including government, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members and maintain their co-operative autonomy.   
Fifth principle: Education, Training and Information Co-operative provide education and training for their members, elected representative, managers and employees, so they can contribute effectively to the development of co-operatives. They inform the general public- particularly young people and also leaders- about the nature and benefits of co-operation. 
Sixth principle: Co-operation Among Co-operatives Co-operatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the co-operative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures. Seventh principle: Concern for Community Co-operatives work for sustainable development of their communities through policies approved by their members.