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Maginhawa community pantry organizer asks: Does helping people need a permit?

/ 03:37 PM April 20, 2021
Maginhawa community pantry organizer asks: Does helping people need a permit?

Ana Patricia Non refills the Maginhawa Community Pantry on Thursday, April 15, 2021, which she set up to help people who are badly affected by the pandemic and have difficulty finding food to serve on their tables. The pantry accepts donations like canned goods, vegetables, vitamins, and face masks, among others, from kindhearted individuals as those are essential for sustenance and survival. The pantry is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.  INQUIRER/GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

MANILA, Philippines — Requiring permits to establish a community pantry is “unnecessary” and would only discourage others to help other people, Maginhawa community pantry organizer Ana Patricia Non said Tuesday.

Non made the remark after an official of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said that community pantry organizers should secure permits from local authorities in order to ensure that social distancing and other health and safety protocols are followed.

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“Hindi ko maintindihan kasi kailangan ba ng permit ‘yung pagtulong and ipapatong mo lang naman ‘yung mga goods dun,” Non said in a press briefing.

(I do not understand, is a permit needed to help when you will only leave the goods there?)

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READ: Permit needed for community pantries to ensure safety, security — DILG exec

“Kung sakaling ire-require nila, eh ‘di ang ihihingi kong tulong sa LGU (local government unit) is, sila ang mag-asikaso. Kasi ang focus ko talaga is sa mga tao, sa mga nakapila, sa mga nagdo-donate. Ayokong patagalin and masayang ‘yung oras ko, ma-delay ‘yung community pantry, ma-delay ‘yung tulong dahil sa permit,” she added.

(If they will require it, I will ask the LGU to process it because my focus is on the people in line, those who are donating. I do not want to waste time and delay the community pantry because of the permit requirement.)

Non said the requirement for a permit would only discourage those who want to organize their own community pantry in their areas.

“Ang tingin ko napaka-unnecessary kasi kapag magbibigay ka naman sa tao, hindi mo naman kailangan—ipaaalam mo pa ba sa iba na magbibigay ka?” Non said.

(I think it’s very unnecessary because when you give help, do you have to ask permission to help?)

“Hindi, diretso ibigay mo na lang kasi maliit lang naman ‘yung intention. Wala ring masamang layunin ‘yung community pantry. Sana ‘wag na lang ituloy ‘yun kasi madi-discourage ‘yung community pantries sa buong bansa,” she added.

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(No, you just do it because the intention is just small. I hope they will not continue that because it will only discourage community pantries in the country.)

Sprouting community pantries nationwide recently made headlines for their noble objective of sharing donated food and other essential items to people in need, especially in this time of a pandemic.

On Monday night, however, Non announced the community pantry along Maginhawa Street, Teacher’s Village in Quezon City will be shut temporarily due to Red-tagging and police profiling of organizers.

Although earlier Tuesday, Non also said the Maginhawa community pantry’s operations will go on and even urged critics of the initiative to establish their own neighborhood pantry.

KGA

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