MANILA, Philippines — The Malacañang addressed critics to stop “politicking” as in the midst of the rising mass movement of “community pantries” which some say is a reflection of incompetence on the part of the government.
The community pantries have sprung up in multiple locations across the country to offer food and some necessities to anyone for free.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson said these pantries were “born out of desperation” and a “selfless” act of people, who “unwitting they may be, are telling the government to do better.”
Meanwhile, Former Vice President Jejomar Binay said the “simple” message of the community pantries is “when the government is absent, we can look after each other.”
When asked to react to these comments, Palace spokesperson, Harry Roque said otherwise. “We disagree, tingin natin itong mga community pantry nagpapakita na bayanihan ang umiiral, hindi bangayan,” he said.
“Sa panahon ng matinding pandemya, sa panahon ng surge na ito, kinakailangan po talaga sama-sama tayong mga Pilipino. Kung hindi tayo magtutulungan, sino pang magtutulungan? Itigil na po muna ang pulitika, ‘wag po sa panahon na nagkakaroon nga ganitong surge,” he said added.
(We think this community pantry shows that bayanihan is in effect, and not strife. During the pandemic and this surge, we need to band together. Let us stop politicking, not in the this time of surge.)
Roque believed that the pantry is a “spontaneous movement amongst Filipinos” and he did not think anyone could claim to be its founder
“I don’t see that as a condemnation of the government. It simply shows the best in us during the worst of times.”
The government set aside P22.9 billion in aid for low-income earners in Metro Manila and surrounding Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal provinces, which were under the toughest lockdown level for 2 weeks. The area has since shifted to the third strictest quarantine status.
Reporting by: Ghelo Carreon
Source: ABS-CBN News