The Department Interior and Local Government (DILG) is threatening to close down community pantries if it sees violation of health and safety protocols that could lead to the further spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
“Unang una, dapat ay magkakaroon ng masusi at closer coordination ang ating organizer at saka LGU sapagkat, unang una, dapat maimplement yung health standards (Firstly, there should be detailed and closer coordiantion of the community pantry organizers and the local government, and health standards should be implemented),” DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said Tuesday.
He said the DILG will release an advisory and memorandum for LGUs on the governance on community pantries that have sprouted nationwide.
“Sa coordination na yan, ang LGU ay magiging malaki ang papel niyan. Kasi unang una, siya rin ang puwede magdetermine kung saan yung venue na gaganapin yung distribution (So, we have coordinate the community pantries, the LGUs will play a big role. Because in the first place, it is the local government that will determine the venue where the food distribution will take place),” he added.
Earlier, Department of Health Secretary Franciso Duque 3rd said the government is not restricting anybody or groups from helping others, but he emphasized that coordination with the LGUs is necessary.
“The objective is good, maganda ‘yung layunin para makatulong pero dapat may coordination pa rin sa mga pamahalaang lokal (The intention to help is good, but there should be coordination with the local governments),” Duque noted.
Coordination will ensure that the minimum health protocols, such as wearing of masks and face shields, as well as social distancing, are being followed during such activities.
“Lahat ng mga ito ay dapat disiplinadong tumutugon sa ating panuntunan ng kalusugan (All of these must strictly adhere to our policies on health),” Duque said. “We should calibrate our pandemic response.”
Duque said the country cannot afford to let its guard down on health protocols and community quarantine guidelines.