(Photo courtesy of DOTr)

MANILA – As the Novaliches Development Cooperative Inc. (Novadeci) marked its 45th anniversary last September, it added another milestone in its business operations by joining the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) of the administration of President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

It has partnered with the government-run Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank) in financing the acquisition of 32 units of air-conditioned electric jeepneys from Hyundai Motor Company to be operated by the Novadeci Transport Service Cooperative (NTSC) members who are holders of franchise for public utility jeepneys (PUJs) and utility vehicles (UVs).

Ma. Elaine Caranay-Dela Cruz, a member of the Novadeci board of directors, said the e-jeepneys will be deployed to serve commuters between Novaliches, Quezon City/Caloocan City and Malinta, Valenzuela City.

She said at least 15 units of the environment-friendly passenger vehicles have been delivered to the Novaliches-based cooperative which was established in September 1976.

Aside from operating the e-jeepneys, the NTSC, a subsidiary of Novadeci, is expected to venture eventually into transport-related operations such as gasoline stations and vehicle spare parts.

Novadeci has a very colorful beginning. In its website, it said from an initial capital of PHP7,000 put up in 1976 by its 15 founding members, the cooperative became a billionaire cooperative in 2008 and its assets surpassed PHP2.86 billion as of April 2019.

As its funds, stocks and other properties continue to grow, the cooperative also has expanded its package of services and benefits to its members whose number has risen to about 70,000 as of August 2021 from 41,083 in 2019 and from just 70 when it was registered on Sept. 3, 1976.

Its members include professionals, transport operators, government and private employees, vendors, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), sari-sari store and small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) owners.

Among the cooperative's package of services and benefits are loans and savings deposits; memorial life and pre-need plans; insurance coverage (life, fire, car, and accident); medical-dental clinic and drug store; cooperative-run supermarket; and scholarship for children of qualified members.

As additional benefit for its members, it has put up two housing projects located in Barangays Bagumbong and Caybiga in Novaliches, North Caloocan City.

Novadeci has also partnered with the Social Security System (SSS) as an agent for collection/non-collateral services.

As a result of its impressive performance, Novadeci has received several awards, including the “Gawad Pitak sa Ginintuang Award sa Pinakatanging Kooperatiba” which was given by the LandBank in 2008.

At present, the Novadeci Sports and Convention Center costing PHP400 million is nearing completion on a 1.15-hectare site along Gen. Luis St. in Barangay Nagkaisang Nayon, Novaliches, Quezon City. (PNA)