NCR mayors agree: Community pantry organizers should coordinate with LGUs
MANILA, Philippines — The Metro Manila Council (MMC) has issued a resolution “strongly urging” community pantry organizers to coordinate their activities with local government units (LGUs), to ensure that health protocols preventing the spread of COVID-19 are enforced and observed.
The resolution, copies of which were shared by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Sunday, said coordination is meant to ensure that gains recorded during the recent imposition of strict quarantine measures are sustained.
The MMC which is composed of all the mayors of Metro Manila is the policy-making body of the MMDA.
Metro Manila and nearby provinces were placed under an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in late March, and currently under a modified ECQ (MECQ) due to a surge in COVID-19 cases attributed to the spread of new variants of concern.
“Whereas, the sacrifices endured and the gains accumulated during the ECQ and MECQ must not be put to waste by a disregard of the prohibition against mass gatherings, observance of social distancing, and the wearing of face masks and face shields,” the Metro Manila mayos said in the MMDA Resolution No.21-08 Series of 2021 showed.
“Now, therefore, be it resolved, as it is hereby resolved by the Metro Manila Council, through the 17 Local Chief Executives in the National Capital Region, that the organizers of the community pantries are strongly urged to have prior coordination of their activities with the concerned Metro Manila [LGUs] in order to ensure the proper observance of COVID-19 protocols,” they added.
READ: METRO MANILA COUNCIL MMDA RESOLUTION NO. 21-08 Series of 2021 strongly urging the organizers of community pantries to have prior coordination of their activities with concerned Metro Manila LGUs in order to ensure the proper observance of COVID-19 protocols. #mmda #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/eZvA7B3DUL
— Official MMDA (@MMDA) April 25, 2021
All 17 Metro Manila mayors and MMDA Chairperson Benhur Abalos, signed the document.
The resolution was released by the MMDA and the MMC a day after the Department of Interior and Local Government asked community pantry organizers to coordinate with the LGUs and the local Philippine National Police (PNP) for crowd control and enforcement of health protocols.
The Quezon City government also issued an ordinance on Saturday mandating that community pantries in the city have a written notice and identify a point person.
The requirements also came in the wake of the community pantry set-up by actress Angel Locsin in Quezon City, which was swarmed by people seeking aid.
An old man who lined up at the crowded community pantry collapsed and later died.
Locsin organized the community pantry to celebrate her 36th birthday. The actress has already apologized for the incident, assuring the public that she would look after the man who died.
Community pantries sprouted across Metro Manila, and even in the provinces, as Filipinos flocked to them to get needed food and other items.
However, community pantries also turned controversial after several pantry organizers were profiled and red-tagged. Issues about the regulation of community pantries also arose in view of health safety and security concerns.
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