THE intention is noble, that is to feed those in dire need and to give chance to others who would like to extend their help in this trying times. There are some things however, that we need to consider when giving help.
Community pantries had become the trending activity in various places all over the country. It started in Maginhawa, Quezon City and the trend snowballed into community activities involving the government and the private sector who wish to involve themselves in giving help to others.
The idea is to make resources mostly basic food and some necessities available for some and for others to put in their share, making it a cycle of getting and giving. The resources somehow need to be regulated. Those who get some should not take it all. They should only get what they need and not what they want.
For those who give some meanwhile should give the quantity they are capable of giving. They can give as much as they can depending on the size and generosity of their hearts. These are the two basic rules.
For every rule there is a violation however. A group of women in Pasig City got all what is laid on a table in a community pantry. Canned goods, trays of eggs and a lot more got into the hands of the women who were caught "attacking" a pantry that is intended for the poorest of the poor.
The women's foray was caught on a video camera and its clip was posted on social media. Unaware of their being caught flat-footed, the women looted the goods as if it was already armageddon. They earned bashes in the end.
The women, when interviewed on TV news, expressed their apologies while justifying that they also distributed to their neighbors the goods they ransacked. Still, their act was violative of the pantry principle.
Here is a famous movie and TV actress in Angel Locsin organizing a community pantry coinciding with her birthday celebration. Aside from the fact that one can get basic necessities for free, her presence as a popular personality was made a magnet that attracted a number of people queuing.
Locsin's feat was likewise bashed instead of earning praises since people were let to be uncontrollable and violations of health protocols were observed such as the absence of social distancing with some caught not wearing face masks and shield.
Worse, a person died while lining up to get a share of the actress' activity. He lost consciousness, perhaps due to hypertension and the stress of having too much people around, taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. The actress made a public apology on the demise of a family breadwinner who wished to have a share on Locsin's pantry.
Pantries should be regulated or monitored by government agencies particularly local government units. Authorities should be mindful of the possible violations of people organizing these activities and the beneficiaries who tend to forget the protocols that still do exist.
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April 30, 2021
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