MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, Oct. 14 (PIA) -- Shouting to the top of their voices their opposition to pending bills in Congress that they say would adversely impact on the interest of cooperatives, coop leaders were one in saying the bills would result to diminishing benefits to members.

Interest on loans extended to members may have to be eventually hiked, if the bills can become laws, they cried out over the weekend at the plaza in front of the city hall here.

The rally speakers, mostly managers and board members of local cooperatives, including City Mayor Maloney Samaco as chair of the Maasin City Cooperative Development Council and member of three coops, were referring to pending Bills on Rationalization of Fiscal Investment Incentives in both houses of Congress.

These included HB 2765 authored by Cebu 6th District Rep. Gabriel Luis Quisumbing, HB 302 by Tarlac 2nd District Rep. Susan Yap, and HB 1788 by Cagayan de Oro 2nd District Rep. Rufus Rodriguez.

In the Upper House, Senate Bill 2048 by Senator Loren Legarda, SB 987 by Ralph Recto, and SB 35 by Cynthia Villar

At the press conference in the Mayor's office that followed right after the march and rally, Dionisio Llido, Manager of Maasin Employees Multi-Purpose Cooperative (MEMCO), explained that once coops are taxed the dividend due for distribution to members will no longer be 100% given.

Aside from the mass action, the participating cooperatives from the city, other towns of Southern Leyte, and some parts in Leyte province, also signed a resolution dated September 17, 2015, "expressing the strong opposition of the Cooperative Sector to the repeal of articles 60 and 61 of Republic Act 9520 also known as the Cooperative Code of the Philippines which aims to rescind the tax exemption privileges of Cooperatives in the Philippines."

The resolution emphasized that "the repeal of tax exemption privileges of cooperatives is misplaced and defeats the role of cooperatives."

The Philippine Cooperative Center (PCC) launched a nationwide campaign against passage of the Fiscal Investment Incentives bills, and called on thousands of cooperators to hit the streets of Manila and key cities nationwide in October "as a show of force against the proposed bills," the resolution also said. (ajc/mmp/PIA8-Southern Leyte)