History

What is now known as St. Martin of Tours Credit and Development Cooperative was started by 15 Church-based (cursillistas) founders on November 11, 1969, from an inspiration by the then Assistant Parish Priest, Fr. Sancho V. Ramos.

Originally named St. Martin of Tours Credit Union, it was formally registered with the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Cooperative Development on January 27, 1970 and was named after the patron saint of what was once a fourth class agricultural town in the province of Bulacan, Bocaue. Under the leadership of Dr. Antonio B. Fortuna – who served as the cooperative’s Chairman for 20 years – the cooperative took root, flourished and has never stopped growing.

Dr. Fortuna has, since then, been elevated as the cooperative’s Chairman Emeritus. Initially holding office at a room in the municipal office, it had no sooner had its own office building at a small lot beside the parish church, upon the representation of then Asst. Parish Priest and now Monsignor Roman O. Nocon, with the blessings of Bishop Cirilo R. Almario, Jr. of the Malolos Diocese.

Following the Samahang Nayon (community association) principle of the Martial Law years, the credit union registered itself anew as St. Martin of Tours Kilusang Bayan sa Pagpapautang, Inc (SMTKBPI). By this time, membership had reached 500. Fifteen years since its inception, in 1984, membership was recorded at 3,000.

Meanwhile, from the founders’ equity of P250, total assets steadily leaped to P18.5 million. More milestones and achievements were a-coming, including the development of a housing project, St. Martin’s Village in barangay Bambang, Bocaue. Branching out in two other barangays and owning three office buildings followed sooner than expected.

Expanding its reach, membership was opened outside of Bocaue to four neighboring towns – Balagtas, Pandi, Sta. Maria and Marilao – and serviced by the three branches. However, more branches were soon opened to bring the offered products and services closer to the people – Sta. Maria, Guiguinto, San Miguel, Meycauayan (all in Bulacan), Cabanatuan City in Nueva Ecija province, and Orani in Bataan province.

To date, the cooperative has more than 44,000 regular members and is the biggest savings and credit cooperative in the region with Php 1.8 B in assets.

Evolving through the years as an effective channel for socio-economic growth in the communities it serves, the cooperative, at the new millennium, registered with the Cooperative Development Authority its energized name – St. Martin of Tours Credit and Development Cooperative, a fitting name for the institution that renders multi-faceted financial products and social services.

To ensure that operations remain efficient and sustaining, St. Martin’s cooperative has started to migrate its information system into a Wide Area Network System. It has operationalized its automated teller machines system where members can transact business anywhere in the Philippines and in the world, 24 hours a day, seven days a week (24/7). It has also tied up with Visa International so that members can now have debit cards. The ATM/Visa innovation is a first in the history of Philippine cooperatives.

SMTCDC also embarked into cooperative history by implementing automated elections for its general membership since 2011.

With its continuous evolution into becoming a more efficient and responsive institution, St. Martin of Tours Credit and Development is among the first cooperatives in the country to achieve the ACCESS branding initiated by the Asian Confederation of Credit Unions (ACCU). SMTCDC is also an awardee in the CDA Gawad Parangal 2014 and 2015, bagging 3rd Place in the National Level, Large-scale Category and receiving Gawad Parangal Special Citation respectively. In 2016, SMTCDC was hailed as one of the Most Outstanding Community Enterprise by the Villar SIPAG. Recently, SMTCDC was awarded as the Most Outstanding Cooperative (Large Scale Category – Billionaire) in the CDA Gawad Parangal Regional Search. These are certainly testimonies that SMTCDC is a Cooperative of financial strength and soundness, transparency, integrity and social responsibility.

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