A Humble Beginning to an Abundant Future
A Few Words About Us
Lamac Multi-Purpose Cooperative, formerly known as Lamac Samahang Nayon, is a multi-awarded, heavily diversified cooperative that was founded in 1973 in the remote mountainside of Lamac, Pinamungajan, Cebu, Philippines. Its very essence is to respond to the empowerment needs of vulnerable sectors, which forms around 60% of its 150,000 member-base in Cebu, Bohol, Negros, and Leyte. The Cooperative provides assistance to its members through a diversified set of services and products, from financing, insurance, and mortuary aid, to financial literacy and agro-entrepreneurship trainings; from farm inputs, product consolidation, logistics, and market linkages, to food and relaxation needs; from garments and printing, to travel and learning visits..
Lamac Samahang Nayon
On November 1, 1972, the Department of Local Government and Community Development (DLGCD), through the letter of Implementation No. 7, initiated a program to organize farmers into associations called Samahang Nayon, which gave rise to the Lamac Samahang Nayon in the year 1973.
Along with it came an orientation training for some seventy (70) participants – mostly tenants, farm workers, and small farm owners. These participants contributed an initial capital of fifty pesos (₱50.00) each; and with this small startup of only three thousand five hundred pesos (₱3,500.00), Lamac Samahang Nayon established its Consumer and Marketing Services, which was operated by volunteer members under the leadership of Narcisa P. De Gracia.
Keeping alive the spirit of active volunteerism, these members contributed their bare hands and their fierce determination in the pursuit of helping their humble community.
Little by little, it all came into fruition – trails were converted into paved roads, springs and deep wells were developed into water taps, and kerosene was replaced with an electrical system.
Since its inception, the LSN has won several awards, among them was the “Most Outstanding Samahang Nayon” in the Regional Level, which was awarded by the DLGCD in 1974. At this point the LSN had been growing rapidly and successfully, however as projects became more and more diversified years later, it became even more challenging to maintain its operations and soon enough, a strain manifested itself through the pre-Coop’s finances, which became even more apparent in 1986.
Soar High – Official Hymn of Lamac MPC 2023
Meanwhile while all of this was happening, Lamac was adjusting to some changes in its organizational landscape under a Primary Healthcare (PHC) approach, which focused on responding more equitably to individuals’ basic health needs by considering certain social, economic, and political causes of poor health. A purok system was then established – the first in Pinamungajan – which aimed to ease logistical operations in the implementation of the PHC approach.
From this bore a firm resolve for barangay development and with it emerged new leader personalities in Lamac – which caught the attention of LSN management who was at that time, struggling with its operations.
And so, these same people that helped kickstart the barangay’s purok system, including some young professionals and college-level students organized themselves into the Barangay Lamac Organization on Management Effectiveness Systems, Inc. (BLOMES Inc.). Among their initiatives were to inspire parents to put their children through college, and provide technical assistance to the organizations in the barangay.
As strains continued to plague the LSN, the BLOMES organization was requested by the LSN management to assist in running the cooperative, which they accepted with no hesitation.
BLOMES, Inc., Management
Through frequent monitoring, daily meetings, and a newfound determination to safeguard the Samahang Nayon no matter what, the new management was able to see which of the LSN’s enterprises required the most help. They had come into the conclusion that a new system was needed in order to manage its operations; and under their leadership and with the assistance of fellow cooperative leaders from Cebu Provincial Cooperative Union Inc. (CPCUI) for the re-education of its members, LSN was gradually rehabilitated.
After several monthly ownership meetings, management ascertained that the main problem among members is that they cannot keep up with the cost of farming; from the time they need to cultivate the field up until the crops are ready to be harvested, finance is always an issue.
This brought forth the idea to link members to proper financing through a possible lending scheme. The problem however for an organization that is far from the Municipality-proper, is that there are a lot of challenges to face before this idea can be actualized. Therefore, management started going from coop to coop to learn about their management, policies, and best practices. Pioneers went to different Municipalities from Pinamungajan to Carcar and Alegria to look for cooperatives that have an established policy in credit and loans. Because of their hard work and dedication, they were able to come up with a feasible policy.
That was the start of the LSN’s efforts to open lending services to its members which, to this day, remains as one of the biggest operations in the Cooperative. Before the help of large financing institutions, twenty thousand pesos (₱20,000) that was generated from humble Christmas caroling, was lent out to its members who were in dire need of the financing for their farming inputs; at most five hundred pesos (₱500) per member was lent out at a time.
Lamac Multi-Purpose Cooperative
From the year 1990 to 1992, management decided to fully transition to a Cooperative. From papers to structural facilities, the LSN was gearing up to register as a full-fledged cooperative with the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA).
On March 13, 1992, Lamac Samahang Nayon became a multi-purpose cooperative under the management of BLOMES Inc., thus becoming the Lamac Multi-Purpose Cooperative.
Henceforth, with the leadership of Ma. Elena C. Limocon, Lamac Multi-Purpose Cooperative became a highly-acclaimed cooperative with united members, and a competent, committed, and credible board of directors, officers, and staff.
Today, Lamac MPC is one of the biggest Cooperatives within the Visayas region. Operating with the same values as its founders did in 1973, Lamac has won several awards for its management practices on a national scale as well as locally here in its home Province of Cebu.
It seems almost inconceivable that this multi-awarded establishment began in a tiny, and isolated valley in Pinamungajan. Today, it operates through fifty-seven (57) branches and satellite offices in the Visayas, with a mission to help members increase their income and achieve social and economic self-sufficiency. It has several Coop-owned Enterprises (CMEs) that serve the community – processing plants, resorts, a restaurant, water refilling stations, gas stations, bakeries, agrivet stores, a farm school, and etcetera.
Recognizing the importance of inter-agency collaboration and convergence, enabling access to new farming technologies, inputs, and adequate post-harvest facilities, and facilitating access to credit and loans enables us to establish life-long partnerships with members from vulnerable sectors, empowering individuals to think about their livelihoods with an entrepreneurial mindset.
From its humble beginnings to now celebrating fifty (50) years in service, Lamac MPC continues to soar high