Community pantry movement shows wages, gov't aid not enough: initiator

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 21 2021 09:16 AM | Updated as of Apr 21 2021 09:32 AM

Residents take canned goods and other items from a community pantry set up at the corner of Panorama and Waco Street in Barangay Conception Dos, Marikina City on April 18, 2021 Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The rise of community pantries nationwide is a "wake up call" for President Rodrigo Duterte that government aid is not enough, the woman behind the movement said Wednesday.

Community pantries will continue to serve as long as there are people in need and willing donors, said Ana Patricia Non, who put up the first bamboo cart filled with free goods in Maginhawa Street, Quezon City.

"President Duterte, nanawagan po ako na sana maging wake up call po na hindi po sapat ang kita ng Pilipino, ang ayuda at tulong po. Sana po nakikita natin na hindi naman po sila pipila kung hindi kailangan. Nararanasan po siya sa buong bansa," she told ANC's Headstart.

(President Duterte, I appeal that this be a wake up call that the Filipinos' income, government aid are not enough. I hope you can see that people won't line up if they don't need to. It's being experienced nationwide.)

The Maginhawa community pantry on Tuesday temporarily stopped its operation after local police and the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) shared social media posts accusing community pantries of propaganda.

"Wala naman po talaga sa isip ko na ititigil ang community pantry. Sure naman po akong magpapatuloy siya hanggat may nangangailangan at may willing tumulong," Non said.

(It never crossed my mind to stop the community pantry. I'm sure it would continue as long as there are people in need and people are willing to help.)

"Kailangan lang namin magpause kahapon para ma-ensure ang security at hindi po biro ang red-tagging lalo na sa panahon ngayon...Kailangan lang po natin i-ensure na safe lahat ng organizers, donors at mga pumipila."

(We just needed to pause yesterday to ensure security as red-tagging is not a joke...We just needed to ensure the organizers, donors and people lining up are safe.)

Non said allegations that she is a member of the Communist Party of the Philippines are baseless. 

"Personally meron akong opinions about our government pero hindi siya nagrereflect sa community pantries," she said.

(Personally, I have opinions about our government but it does not reflect on the community pantries.)

"Tingin ko po hindi rin siya dapat tungkol sa akin...pagka nagfocus lang sa'kin, madidiscredit ang mga tao."

(It should also not be about me as it would be discredit other people.)

Non urged critics to support and go to their local community pantries to help those in need.

"Ini-invite ko po lahat kahit po 'yung bumabatikos o sumusuporta na pumunta s apinakamalapit na community pantry o magtayo po tayo para maintindihan po natin ang tunay na kalagayan," she said.

(I invite everyone, those who criticize or support it, to go to the nearest community pantry or put up one themselves to know the situation on the ground.)

"Sumama na po tayo sa pagpush ng community pantry para suportahan ang isa't isa. Hindi po ako galit or natatakot kasi mas marami pong sumusuporta."

(Let's join in pushing for community pantries to support each other. I'm not mad or scared because many support this.)

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