MANILA, Philippines—This story of Tatay Levy caught my attention while we were tinkering with iCoop two weekends ago. A reminder of important things that we sometimes overlook in the cacophony of doing the Mission.

This is Barangka’s story, but this is also as much the story of the Movement itself.

In 1972, 25 employees from the weaving department of the Universal Textile Manufacturing Company (UTEX) founded the C & K Savings Association, an informal savings organization.

In 1985, the association transformed into the C & K Barangka Community Credit Cooperative, Inc., with a renewed focus on strengthening its savings mobilization program.

By 1986, the cooperative had grown and rebranded to UTEX Employees Credit Cooperative, Inc. (UECCI), with the 37 founders, led by Roberto Mascariña, pooling their resources to start with a capital of ₱5,300.00.

Despite facing a significant setback in March 1994 when UTEX ceased operations, UECCI persevered.

The cooperative implemented strategic measures to maintain collections and encouraged members to settle their debts by encashing their separation checks directly with the cooperative.

Through additional incentives and a strong resolve, UECCI regained the trust and payments of its members.

This resilience led to the cooperative’s conversion into a community-based organization operating within Marikina, adopting the name Barangka Credit Cooperative (BCC).

Today, BCC is one of the billionaire cooperatives in the Philippines, not committed any less to alleviating poverty and positively impacting its members’ lives. Because for BCC, success is measured not just by profit but by the ability to share their cooperative’s triumphs with a broader community.


Sharing Barangka’s Mission

CoopPay, the world’s first Lightning wallet for cooperatives, shares such mission. We want to break down walls, we want to demolish gates and open them.

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About Lyman Manzanares, Esq.

Founder of and managing partner of Manzanares & Partners Law Offices (est. 2011). A lawyer based in Makati City, the Philippines’ premier city, he is a Lifetime Member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), Makati City Chapter, and the Philippine Bar Association (PBA). After graduating from the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Law, the country’s top law school, in 2004, he has been involved in various legal work, particularly in the realm of commercial and cooperative law. Providing insights into the world of law through a platform called “A Case A Day,” he features jurisprudence in criminal law, civil and family law, commercial law, and technology law. In his personal advocacy, Lyman pioneered #bitcoinforcooperatives, the fusion of the special business structure of cooperatives and the sound monetary properties of bitcoin.

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