Palace believes sprouting community pantries not a condemnation of gov’t
MANILA, Philippines — Community pantries have swiftly emerged across the country and the Palace thinks this move is not indicative of people’s condemnation of the government’s dismal response to the pandemic.
For presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, the sprouting community pantries are just a full display of what’s “best in us during the worst of times.”
“The community pantry represents the best in Filipino… I think this is a spontaneous movement amongst Filipinos, it’s part of our psyche to help one another kapag meron talagang panahon ng mga pangangailangan (in times of need),” Roque said in an online briefing Monday.
“I don’t see that as a condemnation of government, it simply shows the best in us during the worst of times,” he added.
Roque also disagreed that community pantries started popping up in various neighborhoods amid an “absent” government as claimed by former Vice President Jejomar Binay.
“We disagree po. Tingin po natin, itong mga community pantry ay nagpapakita na bayanihan ang umiiral, hindi bangayan,” Roque said when sought to comment.
“Tigil na po muna ang pulitika, ‘yan po ang pakiusap natin. ‘Wag po sa panahon na nagkakaroon ng surge. Bayanihan po muna tayo, ‘wag bangayan,” he went on.
Roque then assured that the government will continue to distribute aid to those affected by lockdowns amid the resurgence of SARS-CoV-2 transmissions. SARS-CoV-2 is the new coronavirus that causes respiratory illness COVID-19.
While many saw the community pantry as mutual aid of Filipinos, lawmakers like Senator Panfilo Lacson said it may be considered as “a sign of desperation” since “people can no longer rely on the government to help them.”
Senator Grace Poe also said it is a “wake-up call” for the government to do more in addressing the public’s needs amid the pandemic.
The community pantry is a concept that allows people to help other people in need and fosters trust in the community. The initiative that began in Maginhawa Street, Teacher’s Village in Quezon City took different neighborhoods by storm that it has been replicated quickly in many communities far and wide.
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