“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand,” so went the inspiring words of the great American Football Coach Vince Lombardi.

Truly, for the past several months since the Socorro Empowered People’s Cooperative (SOEMCO) was nominated by the Land Bank of the Philippines Surigao Branch as a first-time contender in the 2012 Gawad sa Pinakatanging Kooperatiba (Gawad PITAK) for Non-Agri-Based Category, Lombardi’s thoughts had not only reverberated in the four corners of the SOEMCO Board and Officers’ Meeting Room, in the Head Office MANCOM Conference Room and in each of the Allied Services and five SOEMCO Branches’ Conference Rooms, but it had imbibed into the hearts and minds of each and every officer and employee of the cooperative, as well.

As a backgrounder, the Gawad sa Pinakatanging Kooperatiba or Gawad PITAK is an epitome of the Land Bank’s quest for the notable key players in countryside development. By means of the Gawad PITAK, the significant achievements of the most outstanding cooperatives are given due recognition. Through the years, the Gawad PITAK has emerged to be a symbol of honor and prestige for Land Bank-assisted cooperatives. This much sought-after award has become a seal of excellence among the contenders and has served as a motivation for other coops aspiring to be included in the roster of Gawad PITAK winners.

After being pitted against established cooperatives in Northern Mindanao and Caraga Regions, SOEMCO emerged as the region’s bet to the National Level and was subjected to a stringent assessment process typical, if not much more, of a dissertation panel interview conducted by the members of the multi-sectoral evaluation committee.