DILG to community pantry organizers: Coordinate with LGUs, PNP for crowd control
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) urged community pantry organizers Friday to coordinate with local government units (LGU), and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to ensure that health and safety protocols are observed in the distribution of aid.
“It’s the organizer’s responsibility to impose the minimum health standards. That’s the primary reason why they have to coordinate with the LGUs local government units so that the latter can provide assistance,” Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said.
Año said the DILG was “alarmed” after a huge crowd lined up in a community pantry set up by actress Angel Locsin to celebrate her 36th birthday in Barangay Holy Spirit, Quezon City in April 23.
Among those who lined up to get food and other essential items was Rolando Dela Cruz, 67, who lost consciousness and was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.
The DILG chief added that the PNP will be conducting an investigation into the incident.
“Since somebody died, the PNP has to conduct an investigation. We cannot ascertain yet who could be liable until the completion of the investigation,” he said.
Meanwhile, Año said the DILG supports and encourages community pantries set up across the country.
“The community pantry has been a traditional practice in our country as part of Bayanihan culture and spirit especially in the times of calamities and disasters. Iba iba lang ang pangalan. In the spirit of Bayanihan, many Filipinos have been doing selfless acts of kindness since last year,” he said.
Año however noted that community pantry organizers must adhere to existing laws and local ordinances, especially those issued to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“The PNP and/or local officials may just come in if there is any violation of law, if there are complaints from the community, or if the organizers seek their help. The LGUs, barangays, and the PNP are ready to provide utmost assistance to ensure orderly distribution to the public,” he concluded.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.