Friday, September 24, 2021

MMDA discourages community pantries during lockdown

MANILA. In this photo taken in April 2021, volunteers and members of Quezon City Task Force Disiplina ensure orderly distribution of goods at the Maginhawa community pantry. (File)

THE Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Wednesday, August 4, 2021, discouraged the conduct of community pantries during the two-week enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the National Capital Region (NCR) to prevent people from converging and possibly transmitting the novel coronavirus further.

“If you are thinking of giving out goods, why don’t we coordinate it with each LGUs (local government units) and probably you could help us do it through manpower. Give it bahay-bahay nalang. Everything should really be coordinated,” MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos said in a virtual townhall session Wednesday on the upcoming NCR lockdown.

Community pantries emerged across NCR Plus in April 2021 when the area was placed under ECQ due to a spike in Covid-19 cases. NCR Plus refers to NCR and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal.

The idea behind community pantries is for the people to take what they need and give what they can.

These pantries, however, have drawn long queues of people hoping to get free food and basic goods.

Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Guillermo Eleazar also said inter-city travel will not be allowed during ECQ, except for those who work in permitted businesses.

“’Yung mga mamimili at tatawid pa sa ibang siyudad ay hindi natin papayagan. Dapat doon lang sila sa kanilang siyudad,” he said.

Eleazar said they will not prohibit humanitarian activities as long as these are permitted by the LGUs.

From August 6 to 20, the NCR will again be under ECQ to contain the spread of Covid-19 cases driven by the highly contagious Delta variant.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año urged the public to sacrifice by not going out of their homes during the ECQ to avoid catching the virus and prevent longer lockdowns. (SunStar Philippines)


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