Duterte: I salute community pantry scheme but…

Robie de Guzman   •   June 15, 2021   •   574

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.

Quezon City does not allow walk-ins in its vaccine sites — Belmonte

Maris Federez   •   August 8, 2021

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte on Sunday slammed those who are spreading fake news on social media of walk-in accommodations being allowed in vaccination sites.

“To be categorically clear, Quezon City does not allow walk-ins in its vaccine sites,” Belmonte said.

“Hindi po maaaring magbakasakali at pumila lamang upang mabakunahan. May maayos na sistema po ng pre-registration at scheduling na patuloy na ipinatutupad sa ating lungsod,” she added.

Belmonte cited video footages of large crowds forming outside vaccine sites which can easily become super-spreader events, due to the fake announcement being posted on social media.

The local chief executive said these online saboteurs are endangering the lives of men, women, and children.

“To those spreading this fake news (for whatever malicious reason), makonsensya naman kayo […] Kung hindi kayo madadala sa pakiusap, kaso ng reckless endangerment, violation ng Cybercrime Law, at unjust vexation ang ihaharap namin sa inyo,” she warned.

Belmonte also appealed to national law enforcement agencies to investigate these posts and file the necessary charges.

“To social media platforms, I hope that you can help curb the spread of this particularly dangerous type of fake news, and permanently ban those who use your platform to jeopardize the health and safety of others,” she further said.

Belmonte also urges the public to continue to be vigilant, practice standard precautions, and stay safe.

Community pantries sa Metro Manila, hindi muna papayagang magbukas sa ilalim ng ECQ – Abalos

Robie de Guzman   •   August 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Ipagbabawal muna ang operasyon ng community pantries sa Metro Manila habang nasa ilalim ng enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) ang rehiyon.

Ayon kay Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Benhur Abalos, napagkasunduan ito ng mga alkalde sa Metro Manila upang mapigilan ang super spreader events.

“As much as possible kasi ang purpose ng ECQ ay talagang huwag lumabas ng bahay, kung magpapa-pila tayo sa labas at magbibigay tayo, baka magkagulo (ang mga tao),” ani Abalos.

Isasailalim sa ECQ ang Metro Manila simula sa Agosto 6 hanggang sa Agosto 20.

Sa panahong ito, tanging essential o mahahalagang biyahe at serbisyo lamang ang papayagan. Mas pinahaba rin ang curfew hours sa Metro Manila mula alas-8 ng gabi hanggang alas-4 ng madaling araw.

Layunin ng hakbang na mapigilan ang lalo pang pagtaas ng kaso ng COVID-19 sa harap na rin ng banta ng mga mas nakakahawang coronavirus variants.

Ngunit paglilinaw ni Abalos, maaari pa rin namang magsagawa ng outreach programs kung nais ng sinuman na makatulong sa mga nangangailangan ngunit dapat ay gawin ito sa mas maayos na paraan.

“Siguro kung talagang gustong tumulong, wala namang problema ro’n pero siguro gumawa tayo ng magandang sistema,” ani Abalos.

Payo ng MMDA sa mga organizer ng community pantries, makipag-ugnayan muna sa mga lokal na pamahalaan para sa gagawin nilang sistema ng distribusyon ng ayuda, gaya ng paghahatid sa bahay ng mga magiging benepisyaryo nito. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Marvin Calas)

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.

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