No ‘epal’, alcohol, cigarettes in DILG guidelines on community pantries

Marje Pelayo   •   April 29, 2021   •   614

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interiors and Local Government (DILG) announced the official guidelines for the conduct of community pantries in compliance with the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte.

“Ayon po sa inyong pag-uutos, gumawa po kami ng guidelines kung paano po ipapatupad itong community pantry sapagkat itong community pantry ay isa sa pwedeng maging dahilan sa pagsimula ng surge o ng spike,” DILG Secretary Eduardo Año told the president during Wednesday’s public briefing.

During his report, Año enumerated the salient points in conducting a community pantry.

Firstly, organizers need not secure a permit prior to setting up a community pantry as this will only be an additional burden to them.

“Kailangan ang masusing koordinasyon sa lahat ng LGU, sapagkat kailangan compliant sa batas at ordinansa ang lahat ng organizers,” Año said.

Secondly, illegal items such as alcoholic beverages and cigarettes are not allowed in community pantries.

“Walang illegal na bagay at harmful items, kasama ang alcohol at cigarettes na ipapamahagi rito sa community pantry,” the official noted.

Thirdly, minimum health standards must be observed at all times. Violation of the standard health protocols are considered as strong grounds for the termination of the community pantry as this can cause a surge or spike in COVID-19 cases.

Fourthly, organizers and the LGU are not allowed to collect any fee whatsoever for any item in the pantry.

Año specified the important role that the LGU takes during the conduct of a community pantry.

He said, it is the LGU that would determine the venue of the community pantry to ensure it is set up in areas where most indigents reside.

The LGU will also be the one to link the organizers to potential suppliers of goods in support of local producers and at the same time contribute to the LGU’s economy.

One important task for the LGU is maintaining peace and order throughout the conduct of the community pantry because organizers might not be able to handle the possible surge of people.

Members of the Philippine National Police (PNP), the barangay tanod and other officials as well as volunteers must be tapped for crowd control.

Fifthly, Año said organizers must establish a system for reaching members of the vulnerable sector, specifically the senior citizens and persons with comorbidity who are not allowed to go outdoors.

“Ang gusto po natin dito ay talagang localized ito na kung saang barangay gagawin ay doon lang magbabandilyo,” he said.

“Hindi na kailangang may mga taong dadagsa galing sa ibang lugar. Kaya kailanhgan ay umiikot itong ating community pantry,” he added, citing the incident in Barangay Holy Spirit where actress Angel Locsin announced her community pantry on social media and consequently drawing even people from other barangays to flock to the venue breaching health protocols.

Lastly, “epals” are not allowed. This means no signage, billboard, or poster bearing the name and picture of the organizer, any politician or government officials shall be posted in community pantries.

The DILG secretary said they will send an advisory or a memorandum to the LGUs regarding the guidelines.

DILG warns public, says no such thing as ‘COVID vaccination exemption cards’

Robie de Guzman   •   January 18, 2022

Image from DILG

The Department of the Interior and Local Government on Tuesday said that there is no such thing as “COVID-19 vaccination exemption cards.”

“The public is warned that there is no such thing as a ‘vaccination exemption card.’ This is not authorized, issued, nor recognized by the government. In other words, these are fake,” DILG Spokesperson, Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said in a statement.

Malaya said they have received reports that this card supposedly originated from Facebook groups and group chats in Davao Region and Soccsksargen that can allegedly be registered to local government units (LGUs).

The cards are also supposedly recognized by local authorities in lieu of COVID-19 vaccination cards.

According to reports, people are being asked to put their name, birthdate, address, and signatures on the green vaccination exemption card being shared in FB groups and group chats, have the cards printed, laminated, and registered to their barangay/city/municipal LGUs.

“The so-called exemption cards look similar to the green COVID-19 Vaccination Cards being issued by several LGUs,” Malaya said.

“Sa biglang tingin aakalain itong tunay dahil pareho ng kulay, format at hitsura,” he added.

Malaya said the government will never issue nor recognize such cards because this runs counter to the government’s national vaccination program to inoculate the majority of the populace to achieve population protection.

He also called on local authorities to be more vigilant in their inspection of vaccination cards at provincial and regional borders amid restrictions being implemented for unvaccinated people.

DILG tells PNP to provide security for media members during 2022 polls

Robie de Guzman   •   January 13, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has directed the Philippine National Police (PNP) to provide security for members of the media who may face threats or intimidation during the course of the 2022 elections.

In a statement, the DILG said the PNP should designate media security focal persons in each province and city nationwide to provide a mantle of protection for media workers.

DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said Secretary Eduardo Año has issued a memorandum to PNP chief Police General Dionardo Carlos regarding the matter.

This was in response to the request of Presidential Task Force of Media Security (PTFoMS) Executive Director Joel Sy Egco in anticipation of a possible increase in violent incidents involving media personnel during the election season.

“We are one with the PTFoMS in providing security and other protective measures for media workers. They deserve to be shielded from every form of harm that they might be exposed to in the line of duty particularly during elections,” Año said.

“The 4th Estate is an integral part of our democracy and government’s partner for a more peaceful, honest and orderly polls,” he added.

Based on the memorandum, the PNP is directed to designate a focal person for media security, who will be the first to receive information and respond to any threats leveled against a media worker.

The focal person shall also directly coordinate with assigned Special Agents of the PTFoMS and assist the Task Force in expediting the resolution of cases of violence against journalists.

Malaya said the DILG shares the concern of the PTFoMS on the welfare of media workers who face the threat of violence, especially during the election season.

He recalled the gruesome Maguindanao massacre in November 2009 that claimed the lives of 58 people, including 32 members of the media who were covering the filing of candidacy of a local politician.

“The infamous massacre in Ampatuan, Maguindanao in November 2009 is a constant reminder that media workers are mostly vulnerable a few months before, during and a few months after every elections,” Malaya said.

Mga barangay, pinagsusumite ng listahan ng mga residenteng bakunado at ‘di bakunado vs COVID-19 – DILG

Robie de Guzman   •   January 12, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – Inatasan ng Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) ang mga barangay na magsumite ng listahan ng mga residente na bakunado na at hindi pa bakunado laban sa COVID-19.

Sa isang panayam, sinabi ni DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya na ang kautusan ay inilabas ni Secretary Eduardo Año sa layuning magkaroon ng imbentaryo ng mga barangay ng mga nabakunahan na at hindi pa bakunado sa gitna na rin ng tumataas na namang coronavirus infections.

Ito aniya ay kaugnay na rin ng direktiba ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte na higpitan ang paglabas ng mga hindi pa bakunado para maprotektahan sila laban sa coronavirus disease.

“Para po masigurado natin ang datos natin ng mga unvaccinated, nagpalabas po si Sec. Año ng memorandum circular para po magsagawa ng imbentaryo ang lahat ng mga barangay sa buong bansa para malaman ‘yung mga ‘di pa nagpapabakuna sa mga barangay in line of the pronouncement of the president,” ani Malaya.

Oras aniya na maihanda ang imbentaryo ay maaari nang simulan ang pagpapatupad ng restrictions sa galaw ng mga hindi pa bakunado, alinsunod sa ordinansa ng mga lokal na pamahalaan.

Sa Metro Manila, tatlong lungsod na lang ang hindi pa nakapagpapasa ng ordinansa na nagtatakda ng restrictions sa mga unvaccinated partikular na ang Pasig, Navotas at Makati.

“I would expect in the next few days ay lahat, all 17 LGUs in Metro Manila will have their own ordinance enforcing the president’s directive,” ani Malaya.

Inaasahan rin ng DILG na magpapasa ng kaparehong ordinansa ang mga lalawigan dahil naglabas na ng resolusyon ang League of the Provinces of the Philippines na humihikayat sa mga miyembro na gawin ito.

Obligado aniya ang mga barangay na masumite ng inventory ng mga ‘di pa bakunado kada buwan. (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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