Lighthouse Cooperative is a church-based cooperative whose membership is confined with the Victory Christian Fellowship-Tuguegarao City. Rosauro “Pastor Ross” Resuello and two other members of the VCF-Tuguegarao felt the need of organizing a cooperative in order to help provide important social and economic services to some of its needy members and to help advance the ideals of the Church.
Thus, in August 1998, the Lighthouse Cooperative was born having been registered with the Cooperative Development Authority.
GROWTH AND EXPANSION
The big break for Lighthouse Cooperative came in January 1999 when the Board of Directors decided to venture in Computer Sales. A member of the VCF-Tuguegarao lent a considerably big amount of money where the cooperative utilized and managed for the purchase of computer parts and supplies. The first transaction became very successful and it went on very smoothly, though, the cooperative did business on a “purely” cash-basis. From that amount of money lent to the cooperative, and the gradual contributions made by the members, Lighthouse Cooperative managed to stay in the market despite the fierce competition-taking place in the business community. For a period of three years, business was made on cash-basis. No suppliers that time were willing to give credit terms to the cooperative, but it has managed to stand its feet on the ground. The presence of Lighthouse Cooperative in the computer business has contributed a lot in making computers very affordable to the consumers. Prices of computers dramatically dropped to the advantage of the buyers. Quality and excellent services made its presence very strong in the market, which made Lighthouse Cooperative a by-word in the computer business, surpassing some of the old players in the industry.
Volumes of sales have tremendously increased. Capital has grown out of the savings made from its business. New employees have been hired to attend to the growing needs of the members as well as other customers using its services. It was at this time when the cooperative focused its eyes on the government as a potential client. Transactions with the government are purely on a credit basis and it takes a big capital to do business with them. However, with good management, the Lighthouse Cooperative successfully entered transactions with various government agencies not only in the province but in the entire Region II as well. No big additional capital was infused, for members have limited financial capability. Lighthouse Cooperative simply relied on its ability to manage its cash well. This was the very reason why the cooperative was able to make good deals with government offices in spite of the big volume of business undertaking with them.
Our continued cash transactions with our suppliers, unnoticingly on our part, created a good impression on them. Without our knowledge, to them, we had been providing them a good business and were making an excellent business track record. That was why, in the later part of 2002, Computer Companies in Metro Manila were visiting us making attractive offers, providing credit terms for our purchases with them. This was the result of the good business management.
Doing business on a third floor with a very limited area is quite questionable and can be an eyebrow raiser. But clients continued to seek our services. Customers were trying to suggest that we should be offering other kinds of products such as office equipment as well as Office supplies.
In the same year in 2002, the Management thought of expanding its mainline products to the selling of Office Equipment and Furniture. In a small scale, the Lighthouse Cooperative considered displaying in its small area, office tables and other furniture. The results were very surprising. People liked them and government offices began placing their orders. Business went very smoothly. However, in December 2002, Lighthouse cooperative went further by deciding to enter into the sale of Office and School Supplies. With this decision, additional employees had to be hired to work on these businesses.
In September 2004, Management saw the opportunity of going into food processing. The Brand Carne Ybanag was born having brought into the market processed meat like pork longganisa, carabeef tapa, pork tocino and carabeef longganisa. Carne Ybanag is a homegrown local brand and is identified to the local folks of Cagayan called “Ybanags”. Later in 2011, a new trademark called “Ybanag Food Products” was launched which encompasses all products developed in Cagayan to include Tuguegagarao City.
In 2006, a new product was brought into the market which is the Chicha-rabao, a crackling made out of carabao skin. Also, the year 2010 was a breakthrough for the cooperative. Because of the inevitable growth brought about by the increasing demand for the CHICHA-RABAO, Lighthouse Cooperative acquired a 650 square-meter lot at Larion Bajo to house the production of the said product. A Two- Million Peso-Building facility was erected and inaugurated in March 25, 2011. This was the first property fully owned by the cooperative.
In May 2011, the cooperative considered acquiring a 1,000 square-meter lot at the new sites development of the City government lacated at Buntun Tuguegarao City amounting to 1 Million Pesos. However, this lot was later sold in August 2013 to help finance the construction of the Lighthouse Cooperative Commercial Building, (inaugurated on October 4, 2013), located at Bagay Road, Caritan Centro, Tuguegarao City at the 678 square-meter lot acquired from the China Banking Corporation-Tuguegarao City Branch in August 2012.
On November 2012, another 800 square-meter lot was acquired at Larion Bajo, the lot adjacent to the Chicha-Rabao Production Center, which will be utilized to accommodate the production of other local products.