Harmful items and “epal” politicians are prohibited in community pantries, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said on Wednesday night.
In a meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte, Año said the names and faces of politicians should not be seen in community pantries, especially those mounted through the citizen initiatives.
“Sa community pantry po ay dapat ire-respeto ang karapatan ng lahat, ito man ay organizer, ito man ay beneficiaries o ito man ay parte ng LGUs (local government units),” Año said.
“At hindi po natin papayagan na magkakaroon ng ‘epal’ o tinatawag nating maglalagay ng anumang signage, billboards, posters bearing pictures, pangalan, initial o images ng mga tao na nagsasagawa ng community pantry ‘no lalo na po ang mga politicians na gustong pumapel dito sa community pantry,” he said.
Año also said that harmful items including cigarettes and alcohol were prohibited.
He called on community pantry organizers to ensure that health protocols were being observed.
“Ito po ang isang dahilan kung puwede nating—para puwede nating ipatigil ang community pantry kapagka hindi nasusunod ang basic or minimum health standard sapagkat ito nga ang pagmumulan ng surge or spike,” he said.
The interior chief also stressed that LGUs should not charge community pantry organizers’ fees.
“Hindi po puwedeng maningil ng anumang bayad o fee sapagkat ito ay [pagpapakita ng] bayanihan spirit,” he said.
The community pantry initiative started on Maginhawa Street in Quezon City two weeks ago.
Since then, several community pantries have sprouted all over the country. John Ezekiel J. Hirro