Community pantries exemplify Filipinos’ ‘bayanihan’ spirit

MANILA – Malacañang on Saturday commended Filipinos for keeping the “bayanihan” (teamwork) spirit alive amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic by setting up community pantries.

BAYANIHAN ALIVE. Volunteers help repack food and other items in a community pantry on Maginhawa Street, Quezon City on Friday (April 16, 2021). Malacañang lauded the brains behind the pantries, where the needy can get supplies for free. (PNA photo by Robert Oswald P. Alfiler)
Community pantries have sprouted in the National Capital Region (NCR), the epicentre of the Covid-19 pandemic, to help struggling Filipinos cope.
“The emergence of community pantries is laudable. It exemplifies the Filipino Bayanihan spirit during this challenging time of Covid-19,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press statement.
Inspired by the movement, more community pantries are being set up. Food and other items, also from donors, are available for free with the reminder to get just enough for one’s needs.
“As we have said on numerous occasions, we cannot defeat the Covid-19 pandemic alone. We need the support and cooperation of everyone,” Roque said.
JOINT EFFORT. Intramuros, Manila joins the community pantry fray on Monday (April 19, 2021). Tables are set up outside the Manila Cathedral with assorted food items being distributed with the help of two security personnel. (PNA photo by Avito C. Dalan)
While Filipinos look for other ways to extend help to those who are in need, he reminded the continued adherence to minimum public health standards.

Roque reiterated that the government’s “Ingat Buhay para sa Hanapbuhay (Protect Life for Livelihood)” campaign aims to inspire Filipinos to recover from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Together, we can heal and recover soon,” he said. “The medium and long-term solution remains safeguarding the physical safety of our people while ensuring the economic health of the nation. Ingat buhay para sa hanapbuhay (Protect life for livelihood).”

Roque added that the government’s social amelioration programs and services serve as “subsidy for the provision of basic necessities and tool for the recovery and rehabilitation of the most affected families and individuals.”

‘Home-liner’ critics hit

Meanwhile, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo chided critics who keep on hitting the government’s pandemic response.

During his commentary program “Counterpoint” on Saturday, Panelo said critics are persistent in attacking the government despite a lack of knowledge in efforts to address the pandemic.

Panelo mentioned Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon and Senators Francis Pangilinan and Imee Marcos, among the pandemic response critics.

He said they are merely full of guts in criticizing while monitoring in their homes.

Alam niyo kayong tatlo, mawalang galang na, nothing personal, hindi ko naman kayo maintindihan. Eh kayo kegagaling niyo. Nasa loob lang kayo ng bahay. Hindi naman kayo lumalabas (It’s nothing personal but I don’t understand the three of you. You criticize while you are just at home. You are not even going out),” Panelo said.

Marcos earlier said the government seems to not have learned after “a year of suffering” while Drilon lamented that the government is reimposing the same rules.

Pangilinan, on the other hand, called for more financial assistance.

Panelo said the three senators are unaware of realities on the ground and reminded that government efforts are based on the recommendations of experts. (PNA)
By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos  April 17, 2021