Community pantries should be praised rather than profiled: IBP

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 22 2021 08:39 AM | Updated as of Apr 22 2021 09:05 AM

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MANILA - Community pantry organizers have a right to their privacy and do not need a permit to help the needy, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines said Thursday.

The Maginhawa community pantry on Tuesday temporarily stopped its operation after 3 policemen asked for information and contact details of its organizer Ana Patricia Non.

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

IBP President Domingo Cayosa said organizers of community pantries can withhold giving their personal information to other people. 

"These community pantries should be praised rather than profiled, they should be replicated rather than red-tagged, and they should be supported rather than stopped...Feeding the poor regardless of who is doing it is never illegal," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.

"Kailangan ng legal na basehan kung bakit hinihingi ang mga detalyeng 'yun. Natatakot ang taumbayan tuloy pati rin yung gustong makinabang."

(Getting personal details of the organizer needs legal basis. This is why the public is fearsome, including those who want to benefit.)

He added that organizers do not need secure a permit to help the poor.

"It’s a public service so they can use public space for that public service," he said.

"Maganda sana magkaroon din ng programa ang ibang ahensiya ng gobyerno, sabayan itong private initiative...Let’s just get our acts together rather than obstruct the good that is being done. Let’s just cooperate and do more of it."

(It would be better if government agencies also do a program like this.)