Community pantry organizers in Metro Manila urged to coordinate with LGUs

Robie de Guzman   •   April 27, 2021   •   310

MANILA, Philippines – The Metro Manila Council (MMC) called on organizers of community pantries in the metropolis to have prior coordination with their respective local government units (LGU) to ensure that COVID-19 health protocols are properly observed.

While lauding the Filipino spirit of bayanihan as community pantries emerge on various parts of Metro Manila, the MMC, by virtue of Resolution No. 21-08 Series of 2021, underscored the importance of coordination to sustain the downward trend two-week growth rate of COVID-19.

Citing data from the Department of Health, the MMC said the growth rate of COVID-19 lowered to -5% within the period of March 21 to April 17 from 164% for the period February 28 to March 27.

“While the organizers of community pantries exemplify collective charity and concern for the plight of the underprivileged and are truly worthy of emulation, support, and praise, the primordial minimum public health standards under the prevailing community quarantine must remain paramount,” the resolution stated.

“The sacrifices endured and gains accumulated during the ECQ and MECQ must not be put to waste by a disregard of the prohibition on mass gatherings, observance of social distancing, and the wearing of face masks and face shields,” it added.

The council approved the resolution on April 23. The MMC is composed of 17 Metro Manila mayors.

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Benhur Abalos, who is also the concurrent chair of the MMC, said advance coordination would allow LGUs to set up measures to ensure the observance of physical distancing and other public health protocols in community pantries.

Community pantries’ adherence to the prevailing health guidelines is also part of the Filipino bayanihan spirit that it is promoting, he added.

“As the community pantries intend to extend assistance to our kababayans, let us be reminded that aside from giving food at this time, one of the noblest kind of help is making sure that they are not at risk of acquiring the virus which, at worst, can cost their lives,” Abalos said.

The MMDA chief also reminded that individuals aged 17 below and senior citizens aged 65 and older should stay at home, in compliance with the guidelines set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Truck ban now in effect on EDSA, major roads in NCR

Marje Pelayo   •   May 17, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Effective Monday, May 17, trucks will not be allowed on major thoroughfares as announced by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

Specifically, trucks will not be allowed on main roads from 6:00 AM to 10:00 AM and between 5:00 PM and 10:00 PM from Mondays to Saturdays.

Meanwhile, a total truck ban will be imposed on EDSA from Magallanes interchange in Makati to North Avenue in Quezon City.

Only trucks loaded with perishable goods or food and agricultural products are exempted from the ban.

The MMDA reminds truck operators to adhere to the policy to avoid hassles on the road.

MMDA to resume truck ban after NCR Plus switched to GCQ

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will resume the truck ban in Metro Manila beginning May 17 after quarantine classifications switched to general community quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions.

Under the agency’s existing policy, trucks are banned from traversing along major roads in Metro Manila from Monday to Saturday 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

A total truck ban is enforced along EDSA, from Magallanes Interchange in Makati City to North Avenue in Quezon City, 24 hours a day, from Monday to Sunday.

Meanwhile, trucks carrying perishable and agricultural foodstuffs are exempted from the ban. AAC

Ilang community pantry organizer, tutol sa ginagawang pagbabantay ng mga pulis

Robie de Guzman   •   May 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Umaabot na sa mahigit 6,000 ang bilang ng mga community pantry na nagbukas sa iba’t ibang panig ng bansa batay sa huling tala ng Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Bawat araw ay daan-daan ang pumipila sa mga community pantry upang makakuha ng supply ng pagkain sa gitna na rin ng pandemiya.

Upang matiyak na naipatutupad ng maayos ang health protocols at maiwasan ang posibleng hawaan ng COVID-19, nagsasagawa ng patrolya sa mga community pantry ang mga tauhan ng pambansang pulisya.

Ngunit ayon sa ilang organizer, hindi na kailangan ang presensiya ng mga pulis dahil tumutulong naman ang mga opisyal ng barangay sa pagpapanatili ng kaayusan.

Ayon kay Jerome Adonis, ang secretary-general ng Kilusang Mayo Uno, hindi sila sang-ayon sa ginagawang pagbabantay ng mga pulis lalo’t una nang napaulat ang umano’y ginagawang profiling sa mga organizer ng community pantry

“Hindi kami agree duon, kasi unang-una napaka dungis na ng imahe ng Philippine National Police sa ating mga kababayan lalo na dito sa pantry dahil nabuko na yung kanilang maiitim na balakin nung nakaraan na iprofile yung mga kababayan natin,” ang wika ni Adonis.

“Kasi kaya naman syang i-handle ng barangay, hindi kailangan ang pulis,” dagdag pa niya.

Kung ang mga pumipila naman sa community pantry ang tatanungin, mas maiging may nakabantay na mga pulis upang masegurong maayos ang pila ng mga tao.

Wala rin umano silang nararamdamang takot kahiit pa mag-ikot ang mga pulis sa lugar.

“Mas maganda nga po yung may pulis kasi naaayos po yung mga pila kasi po ang karamihan dito mga pasaway po yung iba,” ani Jane Estrera na isa sa mga benepisyaryo ng community pantry.

“Okay lang, kasi nababantayan ng maayos yung mga pila tapos nakikita kung talagang susunod sa protocol ng gobyerno para maiwasan din namagkahawa-hawa sa virus,” ang wika naman ng isa pang pumipila sa community pantry na si Mhaby Galima.
Paglilinaw naman ng Manila Police District (MPD), hindi permanente ang ginagawang nilang pagbabantay sa ma community pantry dahil may kani-kaniyang ring assigned areas ang mga pulis.

Ayon kay MPD director Police Brigadier General Leo Francisco, nagpapadala lamang sila ng mga tauhan sa isang community pantry kung kinakailangan o kaya ay hiniling ng mga organizer.

“Unless na hindi humihingi sa amin yung community pantry na talagang duon sila, hindi kami required na ganun pero we are required to patrol and see them kung sila ay orderly, kung yung minimum health protocol ay naipatutupad sa community pantry na yun,” ani Francisco.

Una nang idinipensa ni PNP chief General Guillermo Eleazar ang ginagawang pag-iikot ng mga pulis sa community pantries at iginiit na bahagi ng tungkulin ng pulisya ang magbantay sa publiko at magbigay ng ayuda kung kinakailangan. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent JP Nuñez)

 

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