A cooperative, by definition, is a duly registered association of persons with a common bond of interest, who have voluntarily joined together to achieve a lawful common social or economic end, making equitable to contribution to the capital required and accepting a fair share of the risks and benefits of the undertaking in accordance with universally accepted cooperative principle.
Cooperatives may be classified according to MEMBERSHIP, either as primary (members are natural persons), secondary (members of which are primaries) or tertiary (members are secondary cooperatives)
In terms of TERRITORY, cooperatives are categorized according to areas of operations which may or may not coincide with the political subdivisions of the country.
The types of cooperatives in the Philippines are as follows:
a) Credit Cooperative – is one that promotes and undertakes savings and lending services among its members. It generates a common pool of funds in order to provide financial assistance and other related financial services to its members for productive and provident purposes;
b) Consumer’s Cooperative – is one the primary purpose of which is to procure and distribute commodities to members and non-members;
c) Producer’s Cooperative – is one that undertakes a joint production whether agricultural or industrial. It is formed and operated by its members to undertake the production and processing of raw materials or goods produced by its members into finished or processed products for sale by the cooperative to its members and non-members. Any end product or its derivative arising from the raw materials produced by its members, sold in the name and for the account of the cooperative, shall be deemed a product of the cooperative and its members;
d) Marketing Cooperative – is one which engages in the supply of production inputs to members and markets their products;
e) Service Cooperative – is one which engages in medical and dental care, hospitalization, transportation, insurance, housing, labor, electric .light and power, communication, professional and other services;
f) Multipurpose Cooperative – is one which combines two (2) or more of the business activities of these different types of cooperatives;
g) Advocacy Cooperative – is a primary cooperative which promotes and advocates cooperativism among its members and the public through socially-oriented projects, education and training, research and communication, and other similar activities to reach out to its intended beneficiaries;
h) Agrarian Reform Cooperative – is one organized by marginal farmers majority of which are agrarian reform beneficiaries for the purpose of developing an appropriate system of land tenure, land development, land consolidation or land management in areas covered by agrarian reform;
i) Cooperative Bank – is one organized for the primary purpose of providing a wide range of financial services to cooperatives and their members;
j) Dairy Cooperative – is one whose members are engaged in the production of fresh milk which may be processed and/or -marketed as dairy products;
k) Education Cooperative – is one organized for the primary purpose of owning and operating licensed educational institutions, notwithstanding the provisions of Republic Act No. 9155, otherwise known as the Governance of Basic Education Act of 2001;
l) Electric Cooperative – is one organized for the primary purpose of undertaking power generation, utilizing renewable energy sources, including hybrid systems, acquisition and operation of sub-transmission or distribution to its household members;
m) Financial Service Cooperative – is one organized for the primary purpose of engaging in savings and credit services and other financial services;
n) Fishermen Cooperative – is one organized by marginalized fishermen in localities whose products are marketed either as fresh or processed products;
o) Health Services Cooperative – is one organized for the primary purpose of providing medical, dental and other health services;
p) Housing Cooperative – is one organized to assist or provide, access to housing for the benefit of its regular members who actively participate in the savings program for housing. It is co-owned and controlled by its members;
q) Insurance Cooperative – is one engaged in the business of insuring life and property of cooperatives and their members;
r) Transport Cooperative – is one which includes land and sea transportation, limited to small vessels, as defined or classified under the Philippine maritime laws, organized under the provisions of this Code.
s) Water Service Cooperative – is one organized to own, operate and manage water systems for the provision and distribution of potable water for its members and their households;
t) Worker’s Cooperative – is one organized by workers, including the self-employed, who are at the same time the members and owners of the enterprise. Its principal purpose is to provide employment and business opportunities to its members and manage it in accordance with cooperative principles; and
u) Other types of cooperative as may be determined by the CDA.
The types of cooperatives are defined in the Joint Rules and Regulations for the taxation of cooperatives, issued pursuant to the Philippine Cooperative Code of 2008 (RA 9520).