DOH wants health guidelines for community pantries

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 26 2021 11:25 AM

DOH wants health guidelines for community pantries 1
People line up at the reopened Maginhawa Community Pantry in Quezon City on April 21, 2021. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - A Health official on Monday recommended the issuance of health guidelines for community pantries after a man died while waiting for his turn to avail free supplies from a pantry in Quezon City.

While there is no need for community pantry permits, local governments should at least set health guidelines, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told ANC's Headstart.

"We need to look at the other side, that it also imposes a risk to our citizens because of these lack of standards that is being complied with when you have these community pantries," she said.

"We all know that there is this pandemic and public health emergency. We have to be mindful of what can result from any activity or help that we are going to provide," she said.

Community pantries or shelves containing free food and supplies for anyone who needs it have sprouted across the Philippines earlier this month after Ana Patricia Non started the movement in Maginhawa, Quezon City.

Vergeire said the DOH has no authority over the operations of community pantries and will not recommend the closure of these charity hubs.

"We are not going to restrict this kind of activities because it is a big help to our citizens but we have to be aware and we have to be cautious of the consequences of these actions," she said.

"We're just there to give standards for health pero ang sinasabi lang po namin, maganda po ang intention nito pero kailangan susunod pa rin tayo sa mga protocols," she said.

(We're just there to give standards for health but what we are saying is that although the intention of this is good, we still have to follow protocols.)

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