MANILA - Manila Mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso and Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto on Tuesday said their respective cities are not requiring permits for community pantries.
Community pantry organizers deserve to be thanked for their generosity during the pandemic, Domagoso told reporters in a text message.
"We don't require permit, good deeds need no permit," he said.
The Manila city government will use community pantries as an "inspiration" to improve its food security program and other services, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.
"Maraming salamat sa lahat ng mamamayan na gumagawa ng kabutihan sa kapwa. Manatili po sanang ganyan at walang susuko. Kaya natin ito. At may awa ang Diyos, makakaraos din tayo," he said.
(Thanks to all who are doing something good for our fellow countrymen. Let's keep it this way and nobody should give up. We can do this. With the Lord's mercy, we will survive.)
"We commend the individuals who are helping as they can afford," Sotto, for his part, said.
"Government has limited resources, so any effort to help others is very welcome," he added.
Sotto said there is no such thing as a "Permit to Help".
Interior Undersecretary Martin Diño earlier said that community pantry organizers need to secure permits from barangays or local governments to ensure that health protocols against the spread of COVID-19 are being followed.
He later retracted the statement.
Senator Ralph Recto said there is no law in the country that requires a permit for the setting up of a community pantry.
Community pantries, which encourage people to "take what they need or give what they can", have been sprouting in various parts of the country beginning last week as many continue to suffer during the COVID-19 pandemic.