Assistance through community pantries can be delivered to houses — NTF adviser
MANILA, Philippines – After reports of long queues at community pantries, a government COVID-19 response adviser suggested on Monday that aid instead be delivered via house distribution.
National Task Force against COVID-19 adviser Dr. Teodoro Herbosa suggested carts or cars be used to roam around the neighborhood to deliver the goods.
“Last year po ang local government natin nagbigay ng mga ayuda bahay-bahay, dinala bahay-bahay. Pwede nating gawin ganun kung gusto niyong community bayanihan,” Herbosa said in an interview over state-run PTV.
(Last year, our local government brought assistance on a house-to-house basis. We can do that if you want communities helping each other.)
“Pwede kang magpaikot ng isang sasakyan o kariton at kung gusto mong tumulong maglagay ka ng bagay doon at kung gusto mong kumuha, kumuha ka ng konti doon para sa iyong pamilya at iikot natin ito sa buong bayan. ‘Wag nating papuntahin ang maraming tao sa isang lugar kasi po hindi tayo mawawala sa pandemya,” he added.
(They can use a car or cart and if they want to help, donate. If you want to take some items, get some for your family and go around town. Let’s not send a lot of people to one place because the pandemic won’t end if we do that.)
Herbosa warned that the community pantries that were built in different barangays may cause a “superspreader event” of the coronavirus.
“Ang problema po ‘yung paglagay ng pantry sa isang kalye, at pagpunta ng maraming tao ay kontra po sa laban natin sa pandemya kasi yung pagdagsa ng daang tao doon ay magka-cause ng tinatwag nating superspreader event maghahawaan po siya,” he said.
(The problem is that putting a community pantry on the street causes crowds of people, which contradicts our fight against the pandemic because the influx of people there will cause what we call a superspreader event.)
Still, Herbosa lauded the community pantry initiatives as it showed “true Filipino bayanihan.”
“Maganda yung ideya ng bayanihan. Ang bayanihan po ay truly Filipino; in fact, iyan ang nagbuhay sa atin, sa maraming disaster — mabagyo, maputok ang bulkan, magkaroon ng earthquake, magkaroon ng pandemya — tayo po ay nagtutulungan,” he said.
(The idea of Bayanihan is good. The Bayanihan is truly Filipino; in fact, that it is what helped us in many disasters — storms, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, a pandemic, yet we are still working together.)
Earlier, Herbosa received intense criticism online for his “death by community pantry” Twitter post reacting to the death of an elderly person after waiting in line at a community pantry launched by actress Angel Locsin.
After receiving backlash, he resigned from his post as University of the Philippines’ vice president. Liezelle Soriano Roy, trainee