As one of the developing countries in Asia, the Philippines is blessed with high economic potentials with its vast natural and human resources. Such perception has challenged the people of Gen. T. De Leon, VaIenzuela City, at the northern part of Metro Manila, to scarch for someting that can uplift their socio-economic condition.
In the era where individualism seems to control the gauge of success and determine one's place in society, those who have less in financial resources are regrettably left behind in the poverty line... with nothing to rely on but fate. Determined to find a solution, Fr. Mar DJ Arenas, the parish priest together with some members of the community saw the possibility of enchancing the people's lives thru sharing of talents and treasures and giving equal opportunities to everyone. Thus, the idea of putting up a cooperative was conceived.
1990 was the birth of the PARISH OF THE HOLY CROSS CREDIT COOPERATIVE (PHCCCO) which was organized by Fr. Mar DJ Arenas who was the Parish Priest at that time. With an initial share capital of TWENTY THOU SAND PESOS (Php 20,000.00) and with 64 member-investors, the group embarked on a Cooperative literacy program by seeking technical assistance from the more experienced cooperative, particularly from St. Martin of Tours Kilusairg-Bayan sa Pagpapautang, Inc. (SMTKBPI) which gave them orientation on Cooperative principles. The initial stage was tedious but it paid off.
To start the phase, a temporary office was set in one of the rooms of the parish convent and one full-time cashier/clerk was assigned together with a partime manager/bookkeeper. The members of the Board of Directors agreed to work without per diem and met twice a month (which they still do tip to the present) to discuss, plan and resolve problems, whether such be current or simply imminent. Other people in the parish community began to inquire about the coop, thus, the membership poured in numbers as weeks passed. The office days were extended from thrice a week to six days a week.
The phenomenal growth of PHCCCO in its quest to be and remain to be a TOP Cooperative primary can be attributed to various essential factors such as:
a) On the part of the Board of Directors and Volunteers: the adoption of a continuous education and training (T) program thru the seminars conducted by the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), the Philippines Federation of Credit Cooperatives (PFCCO), University of the Philippines School of Labor and Industrial Relations, Ateneo Institute of Banking, University of Asia and the Pacific, Land Bank of the Philippines, Department of Trade and Industries among others and by acting as a working board wherein specific functions are assigned to each member according to different areas concern; and the holding of regular consultation meetings.
b) On the part of the Management and Staff: the systematisation and full computerization of operation (O) as well as periodic seminar-workshops for goal setting and performance rating.
c) On the part of the members: the diligent patronizing (P) of the services and products of the cooperative and the implementation of membership enrichment program, and the adoption of a rating system wherein all members are classified as Class A, B and C according to the performance of their duties and obligations.
As the number of members notably increased, the volume of work naturally expanded, thus prompting the Board and Management to computerize operations. A bigger office space was needed so from a single room, HCSCOO transferred to another office until 1996. To further prove its viability as a financing institution, the Cooperative purchased a residential house which was remodeled to be its temporary office for the next four years.
For the meantime, the thrust of HCSCOO in promoting credit services to its members has been intensified by engaging in programs such as capital build up, savings mobilization and the like. With its commitment to help the marginalized sector of the community, HCSCOO started conducting free livelihood seminars to member and non-members. Furthermore, the Cooperative initiated a low-cost housing project. Committed to promote the Cooperative movement not only to its members but even in the neighboring cities and province HCSCOO has embarked on an Outreach Coop Tatag Program to help other communities put up and/or strengthen their own cooperatives. At present the Cooperative's Education and Training Committee has serviced more than 20 cooperatives and has been the perennial venue for other cooperatives in their LAKBAY-ARAL (Coop visitation) program.
PHCCCO stands as ever to be at the forefront of Cooperativism, as it takes the motto given by its founding Chairman: "sharing one's success begets success". And today, PHCCCO is housed in a four-storey building constructed in the year 2000 as it continues to be the landmark of strong cooperativism in the City of Valenzuela and Metropolitan Manila.