President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said he was against people lining up to avail themselves of donated goods because he was concerned about people risking themselves to Covid-19 infection.

Duterte did not single out community pantries but claimed initiatives that encourage the gathering of people had caused a spike in Covid-19 cases.

“So we are again forced to enforce a quarantine to limit people from going around and passing the Covid virus to a lot of people,” he said.

Duterte said barangay health officials should be tapped instead to deliver goods house-to-house.

“Alam mo nagbabayad tayo ng barangay health workers. Bakit hindi ninyo i-marshal ‘yong efforts nila tapos sila ang mag-deliver at a distance. Hindi man kailangan lumapit. Ilagay mo lang doon sa table or doon sa fence or what, sa hagdanan,” he said.

The president claimed the government was also doing its share in helping the “poorest of the poor,” but he insisted on doing these with “no publicity.”

“Pero napipilitan akong i-publicize ‘yan dahil I want to stress the point that there could have been a better way of doing things. There has to be some sense in, you know, what we are doing,” he added.

The country has recorded 1,062,225 Covid-19 cases as of May 3. John Ezekiel J. Hirro