Plantitos, plantitas unite: DENR offers free fruit, vegetable seedlings to those in need

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 21, 2021   •   404

 

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has opened a ‘Community Pan-tree’ that gives out free fruit and vegetable seedlings to those in need.

The DENR said it was inspired by the community pantries that are currently trending throughout the county.

This is why, in celebration of Earth Day 2021, the department will be giving away seedlings of fruit-bearing trees and vegetables.

It also encourages individuals and groups who share the passion for urban greening to also donate plants in support of the project.

In celebration of Earth Day 2021 and to help Metro Manilans cope with the stress caused by the pandemic through urban…

Posted by DENR National Capital Region on Tuesday, April 20, 2021

The Community Pan-Tree will open on Thursday, 22 April 2021, from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM at the DENR-NCR Technical Services Office in North Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City.

The DENR also reminds individuals to bring their own pots if available and adhere to health and safety protocols. AAC

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)

DENR warns traders illegally selling wildlife species online

Marje Pelayo   •   May 7, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu warned illegal wildlife traders that they are being monitored by the agency’s wildlife enforcers even amid the quarantine.

“Mobility restrictions may cause some deterrence to our wildlife enforcers, but these shall not stop them from implementing environmental laws to protect our natural resources,” Secretary Cimatu of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said.

The official made such a warning following the arrest of a certain Benjie Saunar for illegal possession and selling of two Umbrella cockatoos (Cacatua alba) in a buy-bust operation conducted by the DENR’s Environmental Protection and Enforcement Task Force (EPETF) on April 28.

The operatives also recovered a Palm cockatoo (Probosciger aterrimus) from Saunar’s possession.

Prior to the operation, the suspect was monitored by the DENR- EPETF operatives to have been illegally selling wildlife species online.

He was apprehended in an entrapment operation conducted by the DENR EPETF with the Manila Police District Station 8 and the Manila District Anti-Cybercrime Team.

The suspect has undergone inquest proceedings at the Manila City Prosecutors Office and is charged for violating Republic Act (RA) 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Protection and Conservation Act of 2001.

As of May 3, the wildlife species, along with other paraphernalia, such as the motorcycle and cellphone used by Saunar, are under the custody of the DENR-NCR Office.

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

Marje Pelayo   •   April 29, 2021

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.

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