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News Duterte asks people giving food aid: Coordinate with barangay officials

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PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Monday asked those who want to distribute food aid to the public to tap their barangay officials so the same will be distributed to poor Filipinos who really need it and mass gatherings will be prevented.

He made the statement amid the rise of community pantries in the country where people line up to get free food items.

“Ipaalam ko lang sa inyo na magtulong kayo pero tawagin ninyo ‘yong barangay captain, may barangay captain man, sino ‘yong mahirap sa lugar niya. Alam niya ‘yan (I want you to know that you can help but you should call your barangay captain, there are barangay captains and they know who are the poor people in their respective areas),” Duterte said without mentioning community pantries.

“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 (You know what, we are paying for barangay health workers. Why not you marshal their efforts and allow them to deliver at a distance. They don’t need to go near. You just place it on the table or near the fence or on the stairs),” Duterte said.

Without mentioning community pantry organizers, Duterte criticized those who distribute food aid saying they do not know what they are doing or the consequences of their actions.

He stressed that non-observance of the physical distancing rule and mass gatherings will lead to Covid-19 transmission.

“Huwag na tayo magbolahan kasi kung alam ninyo ‘yan, hindi ninyo ginawa. The fact na ginawa ninyo, hindi ninyo alam ang consequences (Let us stop fooling ourselves because if you know that, you will not do it. The fact that you did it, you do not know the consequences).”

“Hindi ninyo alam ‘yan na nagdudumugan ‘yong tao. Iyan ang mahirap tapos ang gobyerno ang masama (You do not know that this leads to mass gathering and then you will put the government in a bad light).”

Because of these, Duterte said he has been forced to implement the law.

Duterte has instructed Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año to create guidelines for community pantries.

“Pinilit lang ninyo ako na i-implement ‘yong batas kaya I directed Secretary Año sa DILG, ito ang gawain mo (You forced me to implement the law that’s why I directed Secretary [Eduardo] Año to to do this).”

“Tutal it is always wrong, it is a crime to do that. Pagka ganoon, pwede kayong dalhin sa istasyon (It is always wrong, it is a crime to do that. You can be brought to the station),” he said without elaborating.

Dutere said he has instructed Department of Social Welfare and Development Chief Rolando Bautista to distribute food packs to the poorest of the poor in areas where a strict lockdown has been imposed to tide the family over until workers can go back to work.

He added that those needing food should wait for food packs to be given by barangay officials rather than line up for aid.

“Kayong mga walang talagang makain, walang ano, maghintay lang kayo or try to communicate with your barangay captain (Those who do not have food to eat, just wait or try to communicate with your barangay captain).”

“Ako sabi ko magbalot kayo ng pagkain, ibibigay ninyo ‘yan sa mga tao (I have instructed them to pack food items and distribute the same to people).”

Malacañang had said Duterte welcomes and fully supports the emergence of community pantries in the country.

“As far as the community pantry is concerned, the position of the president is clear. The position of the DILG and PNP (Philippine National Police) is clear. Let a thousand community pantries bloom,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said at a press briefing last April 22.

 
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