Belmonte nixes permit for community pantries in Quezon City
MANILA, Philippines – Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said Wednesday there is no need to secure permits to establish community pantries in the locality but appealed to organizers to at least come up with guidelines in their operations.
Belmonte also urged organizers to coordinate with their respective barangay authorities as community pantries continue to multiply in Quezon City. She added that barangay officials must help by providing security to and disinfecting community pantries.
“Well, at the moment, walang permit because this is not a commercial activity but because of what happened also yesterday we got to thinking that maybe we should have some guidelines at least,” Belmonte said in an interview over ABS CBN News Channel.
For Belmonte, the government “must stay away” as much as possible from these community initiatives and keep it free from politics.
“As much as possible, the government must stay away from this, must be isolated from this para the people can just go and do their good acts and the government will just come in when asked,” she said.
“Purposely, hindi ko siya binisita kasi ayoko maging epal. Ayokong mahaluan ‘yung ginagawa niya ng politika kasi ang dalisay-dalisay ng kaniyang intention, ng kaniyang ginagawa,” she said.
To date, at least 70 community pantries have emerged in Quezon City, according to the city mayor.
Similarly, local governments of Pasig, Manila, and Caloocan have said they would not require permits for the operation of community pantries.
– Liezelle Soriano Roy, trainee
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