Threats against community pantries hit
Human rights alliance Karapatan said threats against humanitarian efforts such as community pantries and food relief missions, and unvaccinated individuals and those who leave their homes but are not authorized persons outside of residence (Apor) during the lockdown were “patently discriminatory and antipeople.”
On the first day of implementation of enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila, Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan, said restrictions on mobility “should be proportionate as well as based on logic and in upholding the welfare of the public.”
She noted that the Metro Manila Development Authority had discouraged setting up community pantries during the lockdown, while Interior Secretary Eduardo Año had threatened non-Apors with arrests if they leave their homes.
“Amid the lack of adequate ‘ayuda’ for affected households and the scarcity of vaccine supplies in the country, these lockdown restrictions on community pantries and other humanitarian and relief efforts and threats against unvaccinated individuals and other citizens from going out of their houses only place more burden on the public who are already suffering from the government’s criminal neglect of people’s welfare in responding to this crisis,” Palabay said.
The Karapatan official said that adequate [cash aid] to offset the poor’s loss of jobs or profits would have convinced them to stay at home and not line up at community pantries.
She also urged the government to ramp up testing, contact tracing and isolation, and vaccinations, and implement comprehensive solutions to the pandemic.