Barangay officials in QC try to shut down popsicle shop sheltering homeless amid lockdown


Posted at Mar 28 2020 05:19 AM


Officials in Barangay East Kamias, Quezon City on Friday attempted to shut down Popburri, a popsicle shop that has been operating as a homeless shelter during the ongoing enhanced community quarantine.

According to barangay kagawad Julio Sevilla, the officials received complaints from residents.

He claimed that while he recognized the good intent behind the actions of Popburri's owner, enhanced community quarantine protocols such as social distancing need to be observed.

Sevilla said that the number of homeless people availing of Popburri's services needs to be controlled and alleged that the people were not practicing social distancing.

He added that on previous days, the homeless individuals were not being checked for high temperatures, and that residents were being bothered by the prospect of the homeless spreading the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Sevilla said that while he respects the actions of Popburri, he maintained that they have to follow the barangay's rules. 

He said that while people were supposedly not allowed to line up before 5 p.m., people already began waiting outside the store as early as 3 p.m.

According to Popburri's owner, Camille Dowling, the restaurant has been functioning as a homeless shelter since the beginning of the quarantine.

She said the shelter's operation has been a community effort, with neighbors, barangay officials, and the local church pitching in.

Dowling said that individuals are interviewed and go through a medical check-up before being allowed to enter the facility.

She refuted Sevilla's claims that the facility wasn't following quarantine protocols.

Dowling reiterated that individuals are made to stay a meter apart, even when eating and bathing, and that individuals with fever are not allowed to enter the facility.

She said that Popburri will continue to follow the rules put in place by the barangay, and that the health of the community is their main concern.