Our Humble Beginning
In 1990, the idea of owning a cooperative bank ignited the interest of the cooperative leaders in Baguio City and Benguet after attending the seminar on “Development and Management of Cooperative” sponsored by the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and facilitated by its Field Office Manager, Leon Cabradilla. A special committee was created to plan and organize a congress among the cooperatives operating in Baguio-Benguet and to decide on the organization of a cooperative bank and federation.
On December 20-21, 1990, a cooperative congress materialized with LBP sponsoring the momentous occasion. The delegates enthusiastically approved the creation of a cooperative bank. Prof. Dizon Mayos from Benguet State University was appointed to head the interim Board of Directors. As its counterpart, the Department of Agriculture (DA) through its Highland Agriculture Development Project assigned Mr. Gerry T. Lab-oyan to assist the interim officers in the collection of share stock pledges of cooperatives to meet the minimum paid-up share of Php 1,250,000.00 and in the completion of all documents required by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, BSP (formerly Central Bank of the Philippines). With technical assistance from the Cooperative Banking Committee that was commissioned through an Executive Order of then Pres. Aquino to fast track the organization and strengthening of cooperative banks, the interim board of directors and prospective staff had attended the mandatory Basic Cooperative Banking Course; drafted the cooperative bank’s articles of cooperation and by-laws; and accomplished and submitted documents required by the Central Bank now called the Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA).
On May 22, 1992, the BSP issued the “Authority to Organize” to the Cooperative Bank of Benguet (CBB). Subsequently, on June 8, 1992, the CDA approved the cooperative bank’s registration. With the continued technical assistance from Land Bank through it Field Office Manager Leon Cabradilla, the pioneer staff worked and complied the pre-opening requirements which took only three months only. On September 15, 1992, Central Bank Governor Jose L. Cuisa, Jr. signed the ”Authority to Operate” for the Cooperative Bank of Benguet, thus, establishing the first coopbank in the Cordillera. The first set of regular Board of Directors was chaired by Mr. Casio P. Paris, Sr. and the pioneer staff is headed by Mr. Gerry T. Lab-oyan as General Manager.
The Bank finally started its business operations on October 1, 1992. After surviving the trials and challenges of a newly born cooperative bank under the watchful eyes of Bangko Sentral (formerly Central Bank), Cooperative Bank of Benguet managed to attain a performance rating that was convincing enough to pass the rigid Bangko Sentral requirements for branching. On February 6, 1997, CBB opened its two branches: one at Abatan, Buguias, Benguet and the other at Baguio City. In 2007, CBB decided to seek BSP approval to expand its services outside Benguet Province and opened its third branch at Rosario, La Union on June 5, 2008.