NCR mayors urge community pantry organizers to coordinate with LGUs first

MANILA, Philippines – Community pantry organizers have been urged to coordinate with their local governments first “to ensure proper compliance with COVID-19 protocols,” Metro Manila mayors said.

In a statement released on Saturday night, Metro Manila Council revealed that its 2021 Series Resolution No. 21-08 “praising the Philippine spirit of bayanihan as community pantries emerge” has was unanimously approved by all local general managers in Metro Manila on Friday.

Community pantries, where people can get or donate goods, have sprung up one after another across the country over the past week. Reports of harassment and intimidation by police personnel at some of the sites followed closely.

“While community pantry organizers exemplify collective charity and concern for the plight of the underprivileged and truly worthy of emulation, support and praise, the minimum public health standards paramount in the context of community quarantine in force must remain paramount, ”the resolution said.

“The sacrifices endured and the gains accumulated during the ECQ and MECQ should not be wasted on a disregard for the ban on mass gatherings, respect for social distancing and the wearing of masks and face shields. “

READ: Quebec government to pay for funeral of deceased man at community pantry

It comes after a 67-year-old man died after passing out while awaiting his turn in a community pantry set up by actress Angel Locsin. Locsin apologized for the incident and contacted the family shortly after the incident.

The resolution highlighted the downward trend in the two-week growth rate of COVID-19, which fell to -5% from late March to mid-April, from 164% from February to March.

Mayors in the capital region have already shown their support for pantries. While many have said permits are not necessary, they are also urging pantries to coordinate with them and adhere to minimum health protocols.

Metro Manila Development Authority chairman Benhur Abalos, who is also MMC chairman, said prior coordination would allow LGUs to put in place measures to ensure compliance with physical distancing and other public health protocols. in community pantries.

READ: LIST: Local governments support community pantries

“While community offices intend to help our kababayans, let us remember that in addition to donating food at this time, one of the noblest helpers is making sure that they are not at risk of contracting the virus which, at worst, can cost them their lives, ”he said.

“What they are doing is commendable, and when it comes to the spirit of bayanihan, I personally totally agree,” he also said. earlier Thursday.

The MMDA chair also reminded people under the age of 17 and those aged 65 and over to stay at home, as outlined in the guidelines of the Interagency Working Group on Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Quebec government urges residents to get tested after visiting community pantries

In a separate statement, the Quezon City local government encouraged Locsin residents and fans who visited the community pantry to take advantage of the city’s free swab testing service.

“We cannot rule out the possibility of infection due to the large number of participants. It’s good to make sure that we don’t infect our family and members of our community, ”said Dr Rolando Cruz, head of the Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit in Quezon City.

The city government has since put in place guidelines for organizing community pantries in the locality, which outline curfew times, health protocols, and item limits per person, among other things.

“If a pantry organizer has chosen not to coordinate the relevant barangay, the pantry organizer can be considered to have taken full responsibility for any incidents resulting from the pantry operations,” the guidelines state. .

No permit is required to set up a community pantry in the city, but those who wish to organize one are “strongly encouraged” to notify in writing and coordinate with the barangay where the pantry would be located.

From the mapping page Saan Yan PH on Facebook, at least 358 community pantries have already been mapped in the country as of the date of this post.

Norma P. Rex

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