Every community has a unique story to tell, and each story is made up of countless individual tales of hardship and triumph. In today’s world, it is more important than ever for communities to come together and support one another. Such is exactly the mindset of 39 individuals in Banna, Ilocos Norte, who banded together to create the Bagnos Multi-Purpose Cooperative.

Bagnos MPC’s Humble Beginnings

It was the year 2000 when 39 members established the BagnosMulti-Purpose Cooperative with a meager capital of just PhP4,457.00. The cooperative’s project manager, Amelia Bautista, had a strong desire to help her town and kababayans, and she was determined to make the cooperative a success.

With Amelia at the helm, Bagnos MPC became one of the most successful cooperatives in the country. To date, the cooperative has over a thousand active members and an asset size of more than PhP10 million. From being a micro-enterprise, it has grown to become a medium-sized enterprise, all because of Amelia’s unfathomable dedication and commitment.

Bagnos MPC’s DTI Grant Program

As with any successful venture, Bagnos MPC had a support system that helped propel them to where they are now, and that is the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). Bagnos MPC is no stranger to DTI programs and projects, having been a grantee of various programs, such as the Shared Service Facilities (SSF). This program provided the needed equipment to process rice coffee and their meat products.

They were also provided with capability building seminars on Digitalization and Business continuity planning, which helped them understand how they can grow their businesses in a realistic and goal-oriented manner. In line with this, Bagnos MPC also took part in the Pasinaya Virtual Trade Fair and the ONG-PLDT Ka-Asenso Virtual Fair.

The cooperative also participated in the One Town, One Product (OTOP) program to enhance the development of their local products and for its efficient both locally and abroad. Through the Product Development program, Bagnos MPC’s homegrown rice coffee was given a Certificate of Product Registration, while the packaging and labelling of their processed meat products were improved to make them more attractive to consumers.Thanks to these DTI programs and projects, Bagnos MPC was able to enhance their product offerings and become a more competitive player in the market.

Giving Back to the Community

As the saying goes, “to whom much is given, much is expected.” This is a philosophy that Amelia lives by. As the Project Manager of Bagnos MPC, she knows that the success of the cooperative is a blessing that needs to be shared with the community.

This is the reason why Bagnos MPC has conducted various community outreach programs, such as giving out microfinancing for the barangays of Banna, Pinili and Nueva Era, providing insurance and loans, holding feeding programs, giving gifts to special children and elderly members of the community, running online contests for students, and distributing relief donations to typhoon victims in Luzon.

Through these programs, Bagnos MPC is not only helping to improve the lives of those in need, but also inspiring others to do the same.

The Pandemic Effect

The global pandemic has been a trying time for many businesses, but Bagnos MPC has remained resilient in the face of adversity. Instead of treating the pandemic as a threat to business operations, the cooperative managed to maneuver its strategies to match what was needed at that time.

During the height of the lockdown, Amelia and her team made sure that all their members and several frontliners receive relief goods. As rice is one of their main products, they supplied rice for Banna LGUs relief operations. They even pushed through with the construction of Bagnos Business Center.

These activities enabled Bagnos MPC not just to continue with its business operations, but also to provide much-needed employment for their members and some locals.

Indeed, Bagnos Multi-Purpose Cooperative is commendable for their efforts in continually innovating and improving their products, and we hope that more businesses will follow their lead

in taking advantage of DTI programs and projects to enhance their capabilities. Who knows, you might be the next business to move from micro to medium enterprise within a few years! ♦