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Community pantries a sign of desperation among Pinoys –Lacson

While he lauded the initiative, Senator Panfilo Lacson on Sunday said the establishment of "community pantries" in several areas in the country may be considered a sign of "desperation" among the public amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a Dobol B TV interview, Lacson said that although it was good that neighbors took the initiative to help each other, it shows that the people can no longer rely on the government for help.

"Mabuti rin yung nagkaroon ng community pantry, may mutual aid yung magkakapitbahay, magkakabarangay. Pero ito na yung sign ng desperation ng mga tao na hindi sila maka-rely sa gobyerno," he said.

(It is good that through the community pantries, we see mutual aid by neighbors and barangay residents. But this is also a sign of desperation, that people can no longer rely on the government to help them.)

Initially beginning in Maginhawa Street in Quezon City, community pantries have popped up in many areas in Metro Manila and even in other provinces where neighbors can find basic commodities and even medicines and take them for free.

Items in the community panty are then restocked by other members of the community in observance of the "bayanihan" spirit.

"Kapag hindi na natin maasahan yung gobyerno, magkanya-kanya na tayo pero mag-band tayo together, na magkaisa na magsagawa ng sarili nating pamamaraan kasi survival na ito," Lacson said.

{When we can no longer rely on the government, we'll have to look out for ourselves. Though it would be better if we worked together to find a way through this. This is a matter of survival.}

Lacson expressed concern, however, over President Rodrigo Duterte's claim that the government had no shortcomings in dealing with the pandemic.

He said that if the persons concerned in pandemic response, such as Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr., took this claim seriously, they would no longer bother to address the problem.

"Sa akin ang dating nun napaka-ominous nun. Kasi kapag sinabi mismo ng Presidente na walang pagkukulang ang ating pamahalaan, at ito pinaniwalaan ng mga in-charge, sina Sec. Duque, Sec. Galvez, lahat ng in-charge sa pagtugon sa pandemic, wala silang babaguhin," he said.

(That sounds ominous. If the President says they have no shortcomings and those in-charge like Sec. Duque and Sec. Galvez would believe it, they would not change anything.)

On Saturday, the Philippines reported 11,101 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number to 926,052. Of these cases, 203,710 are active, the highest for this year. — DVM, GMA News