MMDA says community pantries should coordinate with LGUs

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has issued a resolution urging community pantry organizers to coordinate with their respective local government units to ensure health and safety protocols are adhered to.

Resolution no. 21-08 acknowledges the good intent behind community pantries, calling organizers “truly worthy of emulation, support, and praise,” but stresses that maintaining public health standards “must remain paramount” during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the order doesn’t impose any strict guidelines or regulations regarding setting up community pantries, it does urge organizers to work more closely with authorities in their implementation. The resolution has been signed by MMDA chairman Benhur Abalos, as well as several Metro Manila mayors. Look:

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Last week, the Department of the Interior and Local Government made a similar call for better communication between community pantries and authorities, too, saying it is part of the organizers’ responsibility to ensure health and safety guidelines are met.

“The community pantry has been a traditional practice in our country as part of Bayanihan culture and spirit especially in the times of calamities and disasters. Iba iba lang ang pangalan. In the spirit of Bayanihan, many Filipinos have been doing selfless acts of kindness since last year,” the official said.

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“The PNP [Philippine National Police] and/or local officials may just come in if there is any violation of law, if there are complaints from the community, or if the organizers seek their help. The LGUs, barangays, and the PNP are ready to provide utmost assistance to ensure orderly distribution to the public,” he added.

Community pantries first popped up across the capital several days ago as means of helping underprivileged Pinoys cope with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. There has been at least one reported instance, however, of overcrowding at these setups.

Do you agree that community pantry organizers should coordinate with LGUs? Let us know in the comments.

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