Coop-NATCCO Party-List was created through the initiative of NATCCO leaders who saw in the party-list system an opportunity to go beyond mere dependence on traditional politicians to push forward the co-operatives’ legislative agenda. They recognized that active participation in the implementation of laws and government policies was necessary to ensure that the desired results for co-operative growth and development would be achieved.
On July 27, 1997, the NATCCO board met at Cauayan, Isabela and approved the Network’s participation in the party-list election. Shortly after, on November 12, 1997, the board met again and commissioned Atty. Edmund Lao to prepare the party’s manifestation to participate in the election and to draft the bylaws of Coop-NATCCO Network Party-List.
Coop-NATCCO Party-List was registered with the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) on the day of the deadline, practically on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month (November 11, 1997). Though the party anticipated a favorable response from the COMELEC on its registration, this did not happen as expected. On February 7, 1998, a COMELEC promulgation disqualified the party. Atty. Edmund Lao immediately filed a motion for reconsideration. Meanwhile, the party did not lose hope and still proceeded to come up with its list of five (5) nominees.
On February 12, 1998, the COMELEC handed down a decision in favor of the party-list’s motion for reconsideration, thus qualifying Coop-NATCCO as a party-list candidate.
In the May 14, 1998 elections, Coop-NATCCO Party-List garnered 189,000 votes (representing 2.2% of the total national party-list votes), giving Coop-NATCCO a seat in the House of Representatives. Cong. Cresente C. Paezrepresented the party-list in Congress this first time.
Coop-NATCCO participated again and won in the 2001, 2004 and 2007 national elections.
Coop-NATCCO’s most tangible accomplishment is the passage into law of RA 9520, otherwise known as the Philippine Cooperative Code of 2008 authored by the late Cong. Guillermo Cua, Jr.
SOEMCO became an affiliate of Coop-NATCCO Partylist in 2006 and, because of its substantial contribution to the partylist’s victory in 2004 and 2007 elections, was allocated with PDAF Funds for its main office building. In the 2010 elections, SOEMCO managed to facilitate the achievement of 4,608 votes out of 9,897 partylist votes of the 10,762 actual voters of Socorro, Surigao del Norte thereby attaining 46.47% of the total partylist votes, the highest accomplishment in a single municipality in the Philippines followed closely by Catmon, Cebu at 46.34%.