Skeptics had been telling us more than a decade ago that cooperatives, in the real sense of the word, would not thrive in Socorro, Surigao del Norte, Philippines. Nevertheless, we were always letting the cynics know that Dr. Jose P. Rizal had met exactly the same apprehensions more than a century ago when he brought out to his friends and associates in the Propaganda Movement the idea of organizing cooperatives in the Philippines hoping to replicate in his beloved homeland the ideology of cooperativism espoused by Robert Owen and Dr. William King and put into practice by the Rochdale Pioneers which served as catalyst in transforming European countries into economic titans.
Indeed, SOEMCO was organized in May 27, 1996 by 51 Socorro municipal government officials and employees who pooled their meager resources together to put up an initial capital of PhP 33,500.00 and operate a consumer’s store and later on, a credit and savings operation. Since then, and with the opening of membership to the community in July 18, 2004, SOEMCO rose as one of the most viable cooperatives in Caraga Region with our influence reaching far and wide both in the domestic and international arena. Its performance had soared into tremendous heights with a total membership of 8,908; Share Capital of PhP 79.49 Million; deposit of PhP 64.14 Million; net surplus of PhP 13.75 Million and asset of PhP 430.63 Million as of December 31, 2016.
The year 1999 served as a turning point in SOEMCO’s journey towards prosperity. In the aspect of Financial Services, we had opened branch offices in Dapa, Siargao Island last July 2, 2009; in Surigao City last September 19, 2009; in Alegria, Surigao del Norte last September 20, 2011; in Claver, Surigao del Norte last May 28, 2011 as well as in Cantilan, Surigao del Sur on May 16, 2014. In January 2010, we had established a Head Office at Navarro, Socorro, Surigao del Norte paving the way for the operatioanalization of the Socorro Branch.
In the field of Allied Services, we had strengthened and expanded the SOEMCO Consumers Store; implemented the Barangay Food Terminal (Barangay Bagsakan Center) Program and Farm Tractor and Corn Mill Projects in partnership with the Department of Agriculture and; the Socorro Integrated Coconut Processing Facility under the Strengthening the Agro-Industrial Sectors in Bicol and Caraga (SAIS-BC) Project funded by the Agencia Espanola de Cooperacion Internacionale para el Desarollo (AECID). We also inaugurated the 50-Sow Level Socorro Swine Breeder Farm funded by the Community Fund for Agricultural Development (CFAD)- Big Ticket Project under the Mindanao Rural Development Program (MRDP) on February 19, 2014.
Records would bear us out therefore, that cooperatives would flourish in this part of the country if members and leaders alike are determined to transform visions into reality. With the launching of our web site, we are proud to say that SOEMCO not only acts locally but it operates globally!
The model cooperative in Caraga Region caring for the members, the community and the environment.
We uplift the well-being of the members by providing quality financial products and non-financial services anchored on the principle of sustainable development.