The local government of Quezon City on Tuesday assured that organizers and beneficiaries of community pantries in the city will remain safe amid allegations of red-tagging being conducted by government authorities.
In a statement, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte expressed support for the initiative and vowed to protect its organizers.
“I would like to personally assure Ms. Ana Patricia Non and other like-minded individuals that the local government of Quezon City fully supports Community Pantries,” Belmonte said.
“Indeed, these initiatives highlight the bayanihan spirit inherent in our QCitizens. The city government will therefore ensure that the organizers and beneficiaries of Community Pantries remain safe and unimpeded,” she added.
Belmonte gave the assurance after Non, the person behind the Maginhawa community pantry, said they would temporarily pause their operations for the safety of their volunteers amid the alleged red-tagging.
Belmonte said she has reached out to Non and discussed her concerns about her safety and security.
“I have requested QCPD District Director Brigadier General Antonio Yarra to conduct an investigation regarding Ms. Non’s apprehensions and earlier experiences,” she said.
“I will likewise meet with Station 9 Commander Police LtCol, Imelda Reyes, under which jurisdiction Maginhawa falls, to further discuss Miss Non’s security concerns,” she added.
The mayor said the city’s Task Force Disiplina and barangay officials have provided assistance in maintaining peace and order in the Maginhanawa community pantry.
She, however, clarified that the teams are only there to “help remind the public about observing minimum health standards and to assist in controlling any crowds that may form.”
“Task Force Disiplina is instructed to do the same for any other community pantries in the city should barangay personnel need additional assistance,” she said.
“In these difficult times, let us allow kindness and selflessness to prevail,” she added.