Vico Sotto, Isko Moreno assure no permits needed for community pantry organizers

The local government units of Pasig, Manila, and Caloocan reassured their constituents – particularly current and future organizers of community pantries – that permits in mounting the public movement won’t be necessary.

As more and more community pantries continue to spring up across different parts of the country, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) brought up the possibility of requiring permits to ensure health protocols are followed amid the surge of COVID-19 cases. 

But three Metro Manila mayors expressed support for the “bayanihan” push, ensuring no permits are needed for those who plan to organize community pantries. 

For one, Vico Sotto – the local chief executive of Pasig City – said efforts to put up community countries are “very welcome” in his city especially now more than where local offices can only do so much due to limited resources available. 

“Some community pantries have sprung up in Pasig (More than 30 by my unofficial count). We commend the individuals who are helping as they can afford. The government has limited resources, so any effort to help others is very welcome. Para sa mga nagtatanong, hindi kailangan ng permit para gawin ‘to. Wala po tayong “Permit to Help”,” Vico said. 

Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso also said he won’t require permits in the nation’s capital as “good deeds need no permit.” He also issued an order to the Manila Police District (MPD) not to arrest anyone who plans to put up a community pantry. 

“We won’t require permits. Good deeds need no permit. Directive to MPD: Walang huhulihin at pagbabawalan na community pantry sa manila. We encourage Manilans to show compassion, care, and love to one another,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Mayor Oscar “Oca” Malapitan, in a Facebook post, pointed out that the government should support community pantries instead of imposing regulations.  

“Pasasalamat at suporta ang dapat natin ibigay sa mga nasa likod ng community pantries sa lungsod. Kung kailangan ng assistance para mapanatili ang social distancing, maaaring ipagbigay-alam sa ating barangay para matulungan, ngunit hindi kailangan ng permit,” he said.

Ana Patricia Non, a graduate of the University of the Philippines (Diliman), set up the Maginhawa Community Pantry to help those in need as stricter quarantine measures due to the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the Metro. 

Various individuals and organizations from different parts of the country followed suit, sparking home among Filipinos during these trying times.

Non temporarily halted the operations of the community pantry she set up on its seventh day after the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) and the National Task Force Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) shared posts linking community pantries to communist groups. 

A day after receiving red-tagging claims, the Maginhawa Community Pantry once again-reopened.

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