Credit Information Corporation (CIC) President and CEO Jaime P. Garchitorena dispelled rumors concerning any temporary restraining order (TRO) issued against the CIC that puts on hold the requirement for cooperatives to submit the credit data of their member-borrowers to the CIC.

In an official statement released over the weekend, Mr. Garchitorena firmly stated that any news about such a TRO is another case of fake news.

“We have received information that fake news has been circulating in Iloilo about the existence of such a TRO,” the CIC President and CEO said.  “We would like to advise everyone that there is no such TRO.  The mandate requiring all cooperatives to submit credit data to the CIC still stands.”

The rumor comes on the heels of the denial of a TRO filed by the Northern Luzon Federation of Cooperatives and Development Center (NORLU CEDEC).  Last June 28, the Baguio City Regional Trial Court (RTC) junked the NORLU CEDEC’s petition for a TRO that would stop the CIC from collecting the required basic credit data of its members.

In its Order dated 28 June 2017, the Baguio RTC stated that the cooperatives’ submission of the basic credit data of their members does not violate the autonomy of cooperatives.  Second, the court ruled out the group’s contention that cooperatives are not included in the list of entities that are required to submit credit data to the CIC, and that the Philippine Cooperative Code of 2008 already repealed R.A. 9510.

Cooperatives remain autonomous, even as they submit the required credit data to the CIC, and remain free to chart and govern their own affairs, the court said, adding that there is a presumption of constitutionality in favor of the CIC because there was no clear and unequivocal breach of the 1987 Constitution.

Speaking about the fake news in Iloilo about the existence of a TRO, Mr. Garchitorena said, “This is not the first time we hear of fake news circulating about the CIC, especially when it comes to data submission and the attempt to mislead cooperatives into not submitting.  We are genuinely concerned since cooperatives only have everything to gain in being included in the coverage of R.A. 9510.  Not only will cooperatives be able to lend more  to  their members who diligently repay their loans and at better terms, but by being part of the CIC’s credit information system; it will also improve non-performing loan ratios  and protect the cooperative members from fraud.”

Beginning January 2018, cooperatives that contribute to the CIC’s credit information system will be able to avail of credit reports that would help them assess which members to lend credit to at better interest rates and longer payment terms.  

Asked for advice on what cooperatives and other Submitting Entities should do when hearing any news or advice about their obligation to submit data, Garchitorena replied, “Always check with the CIC regarding any news that may affect your submission deadlines. It’s easy for someone to spread fake news but it may be detrimental to the cooperative to believe and act on it.”

The CIC is a government-owned and –controlled corporation tasked to establish a centralized credit registry and to provide access to reliable, standardized information on the credit history and financial condition of borrowers.