Former co-op bank manager passes away

Guillermo succumbed to pancreatic cancer. He was 59.

He is survived by his wife Milagros; children Joanne, Joseph and Karen, Judy and Pete, Judith; grandchildren Juan Carlos, Mykie Justice, Regine Magdalene, Maurice Jamis and Jude Anton; his brothers Salvador, Mario, Valentino and sister Concepcion.

Under his watch as manager, the cooperative bank rose from a small lender for mostly agri-based and public market-based ventures (the bank’s offices were in the public markets of Bankerohan and Agdao) to a bigger institution helping not only cooperatives of farmers and market vendors but also of workers, accountants, media, artists, pilots, doctors and other health workers.

The bank, set up by cooperatives in the city in the 1980s, also purchased a lot and constructed its own building, a five-storey structure along Magallanes St.,  near Bankerohan public market by 1996. Guillermo resigned as manager in 1998. The bank closed a few years later.

Among Guillermo’s legacies in the cooperative movement is having financed an P8 million loan for the construction of the country’s first cooperatively-owned hospital, the Medical Mission Group Hospital along Leon Garcia St, which initiated the cooperative health fund (CHF), an affordable health care for the marginalized sector.

The idea of having doctors, nurses and health care workers own and operate hospitals and the CHF was endorsed by then Health Secretary Juan Flavier, former President Corazon Aquino and several senators and had since spread to various parts of the country. Today, the Medical Mission Group Hospitals & Health Services Cooperative-Philippines (MMGHHSCP) Federation has 24 chapters nationwide with total assets at least a billion pesos.

Guillermo's remains will be buried on Tuesday, March 10, at the Orchard Memorial Park fronting San Pedro Memorial Park, after the 9 a.m. mass at the St. Jude parish. (MindaNews)