Community pantries should continue operations, Palace says

Robie de Guzman   •   April 20, 2021   •   943

MANILA, Philippines – Community pantries in various areas should continue operating to help those in need amid the coronavirus pandemic, Malacañang said Tuesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said such initiatives “exemplify the best of Filipino character in times of challenges” and should not be halted.

He also said that President Rodrigo Duterte is encouraging such efforts and organizers of community pantries should continue what they are doing.

“Yan po ay talagang pinupuri ng ating president,” he said in a public briefing.

Roque also cited Interior Secretary Eduardo Año’s earlier statement that cops and local government officials should not interfere with initiatives organized by private entities unless it is to ensure that public health protocols are strictly observed.

“Ang ating DILG Secretary Año, sinusugan po ito at inorderan na ang mga pulis na ‘wag manghimasok sa operasyon ng community pantries except kung kinakailangan lamang ipatupad ang mga minimum health standards,” he said.

The Palace official issued the statement after Ana Patricia Non, the organizer of Maginhawa community pantry, announced she would be temporarily closing the pantry for the safety of its volunteers due to alleged red-tagging.

The National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) earlier admitted it is checking the background of the pantry organizers following reports that communist groups are using these initiatives to spread their propaganda against the government.

Duterte: I salute community pantry scheme but…

Robie de Guzman   •   June 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said that he salutes individuals and groups behind community pantries but stressed that protocols against the transmission of COVID-19 should be strictly observed during these events.

Duterte issued the statement after receiving information that at least 86 persons have tested positive for coronavirus disease after going to a food distribution activity in a barangay in Quezon City more than two weeks ago.

While he acknowledges the intention behind the establishment of community pantries, the chief executive said organizers must ensure that these activities will not go out of control and become super spreader events.

“Wala man question itong pantry scheme. As a matter of fact, I salute the people behind this and those who originated it,” Duterte said during his weekly public address on Monday night.

He also said that basic health protocols should likewise be implemented to avoid overcrowding and minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

“Nagkulang sila (pantry organizers) and maybe they are ignorant of the prohibition imposed by law, not by me. Hindi siguro niyo nabasa pero sa totohanan lang, if it is a matter of assessing whether or not you are doing good you are doing super good,” he said.

“Saludo ako at maganda ang konsensya ninyo sa tao ninyo but please read the restrictions first,” he added.

Community pantry organizers who felt harassed, threatened by cops should file raps – PNP chief

Robie de Guzman   •   May 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Guillermo Eleazar on Thursday urged community pantry organizers to immediately file a complaint if they feel threatened or intimidated by the actions of some police officers.

“Makaka-asa kayo na agad po nating aaksyunan ang inyong mga reklamo,” Eleazar said in a statement.

Eleazar issued the statement after PNP Human Rights Affairs Office (HRAO) director Police Brigadier General Vincent Calanoga apologized to community pantry organizers and assured that investigations into allegations on police profiling are underway.

The PNP chief said the apology issued by the HRAO is “proof that the police organization means them no harm.”

“Ito ay isa lang patunay na walang masamang intensyon ang inyong PNP at ito rin ay magsisilbing mensahe sa lahat ng ating kapulisan na siguraduhin lang na nasusunod ang minimum health safety protocol sa community pantries at tumulong kung kinakailangan,” he said.

He also maintained that the police organization has “never sanctioned a profiling of community pantry organizers who have been selflessly offering help to those in need and fostering the Bayanihan spirit.”

“Gusto ko po linawin na walang direktiba mula sa PNP National Headquarters o mula sa aking opisina na magsagawa ng anumang profiling sa kanila ang ating mga police personnel,” he said.

“Base na rin sa direktiba ng ating SILG Eduardo Año, inatasan ko ang ating mga kapulisan na tulungan at protektahan ang mga community pantry organizers sa kanilang area of responsibility at tiyakin na nasusunod ang health protocols,” he added.

Eleazar said the PNP Directorate for Police Community Relations has already crafted guidelines for police personnel in engaging with organizers of community pantries.

Under the guidelines, police presence in the vicinity of community pantries should only be to maintain peace and order and to ensure minimum public health safety standards are strictly observed.

Ilang community pantry organizer, tutol sa ginagawang pagbabantay ng mga pulis

Robie de Guzman   •   May 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Umaabot na sa mahigit 6,000 ang bilang ng mga community pantry na nagbukas sa iba’t ibang panig ng bansa batay sa huling tala ng Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Bawat araw ay daan-daan ang pumipila sa mga community pantry upang makakuha ng supply ng pagkain sa gitna na rin ng pandemiya.

Upang matiyak na naipatutupad ng maayos ang health protocols at maiwasan ang posibleng hawaan ng COVID-19, nagsasagawa ng patrolya sa mga community pantry ang mga tauhan ng pambansang pulisya.

Ngunit ayon sa ilang organizer, hindi na kailangan ang presensiya ng mga pulis dahil tumutulong naman ang mga opisyal ng barangay sa pagpapanatili ng kaayusan.

Ayon kay Jerome Adonis, ang secretary-general ng Kilusang Mayo Uno, hindi sila sang-ayon sa ginagawang pagbabantay ng mga pulis lalo’t una nang napaulat ang umano’y ginagawang profiling sa mga organizer ng community pantry

“Hindi kami agree duon, kasi unang-una napaka dungis na ng imahe ng Philippine National Police sa ating mga kababayan lalo na dito sa pantry dahil nabuko na yung kanilang maiitim na balakin nung nakaraan na iprofile yung mga kababayan natin,” ang wika ni Adonis.

“Kasi kaya naman syang i-handle ng barangay, hindi kailangan ang pulis,” dagdag pa niya.

Kung ang mga pumipila naman sa community pantry ang tatanungin, mas maiging may nakabantay na mga pulis upang masegurong maayos ang pila ng mga tao.

Wala rin umano silang nararamdamang takot kahiit pa mag-ikot ang mga pulis sa lugar.

“Mas maganda nga po yung may pulis kasi naaayos po yung mga pila kasi po ang karamihan dito mga pasaway po yung iba,” ani Jane Estrera na isa sa mga benepisyaryo ng community pantry.

“Okay lang, kasi nababantayan ng maayos yung mga pila tapos nakikita kung talagang susunod sa protocol ng gobyerno para maiwasan din namagkahawa-hawa sa virus,” ang wika naman ng isa pang pumipila sa community pantry na si Mhaby Galima.
Paglilinaw naman ng Manila Police District (MPD), hindi permanente ang ginagawang nilang pagbabantay sa ma community pantry dahil may kani-kaniyang ring assigned areas ang mga pulis.

Ayon kay MPD director Police Brigadier General Leo Francisco, nagpapadala lamang sila ng mga tauhan sa isang community pantry kung kinakailangan o kaya ay hiniling ng mga organizer.

“Unless na hindi humihingi sa amin yung community pantry na talagang duon sila, hindi kami required na ganun pero we are required to patrol and see them kung sila ay orderly, kung yung minimum health protocol ay naipatutupad sa community pantry na yun,” ani Francisco.

Una nang idinipensa ni PNP chief General Guillermo Eleazar ang ginagawang pag-iikot ng mga pulis sa community pantries at iginiit na bahagi ng tungkulin ng pulisya ang magbantay sa publiko at magbigay ng ayuda kung kinakailangan. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent JP Nuñez)

 

REACH US

The Philippine Broadcast Hub

UNTV, 915 Barangay Philam,

EDSA, Quezon City M.M. 1104

(+632) 8396-8688 (Tel)

info@untv-newsandrescue.com (General inquiries)

ABOUT UNTV

UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.