MANILA - Ana Patricia Non, who inspired the community pantry movement in the country, appealed to politicians not to use the pantries for politics or campaigning.
In an interview with Jing Castañeda, Non said there are some politicians who donate to their pantries, but with their names written in their donations.
"Mayroon lang pong nag-visit na may planong tumakbo, or politician. Ang advise ko, okay lang po, welcome po ang donations ninyo, pero 'wag na po tayong mag-ano, i-campaign po. 'Wag po tayong mag-campaign and 'wag na po nating ilagay 'yung pangalan natin if politician po kayo at magdo-donate," she said.
(We've been visited by some who plan to run in the upcoming elections, or politician. Your donations are welcome, but I advise you not to use the community pantry for your campaign. Do not campaign, and do not put your names in the donations.)
Non said they have received some donations with names from incumbent politicians, while some want photos of their donations.
"Tinatanggal po namin 'yung pangalan...If ever po, welcome po kayong mag-donate pero hindi natin gagawin na bigay 'to ni ganitong person. Kasi community siya eh, wala siyang pangalan," she said.
(We remove their names...If ever, you are welcome to donate but we will not say these are from a certain person. Because this is a community, there are no individual names.)
"Dapat hindi siya tungkol sa atin," Non added.
(This should not be about us.)
Community pantries have sprouted across the country after Non started the movement in Maginhawa in Quezon City.
The pantries, made of makeshift shelves along streets, offer food and other necessities, with anyone free to get whatever amount they needed.
Several senators earlier commended the public for opening community pantries for poor Filipinos, saying the people have no choice but to rely on themselves because of perceived inefficiencies and lapses by the national government.
Watch the whole interview with Non here.