Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles expressed his gratitude to those behind the different community pantries that sprouted in different parts of Metro Manila over the past week, saying they are a big help to the government in the fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Nograles made the statement following the establishment of a bamboo cart project dubbed as the “Maginhawa community pantry” in Quezon City that inspired more of the same kind to sprout in different parts of the Metro, particularly in Quezon City and Manila.
In a radio interview on Sunday, Nograles said the government is thankful to those behind the projects.
“Wini-welcome naman natin ang mga initiatives ng private sector at maging ng ating ordinaryong mamamayan na gustong tumulong sa ating mga kapwa Filipino (We welcome these initiatives of the private sector and ordinary citizens who want to help their fellowmen),” he told Super Radyo DZBB.
“Malaking bagay po yun para sa amin at kami po ay lubos na nagpapasalamat sa lahat ng gumagawa ng sarili nilang initiatives (This is already a big deal for us and we are thankful for those who are making an initiative),” he added.
The Palace official stressed that the fight against COVID-19 is not something that the government can win on its own.
“Dito sa laban na ito sa (In this fight against) COVID-19, of course, we welcome all of the help that we get,” he said.
“Itong laban na ito hindi lang naman government, kung hindi lahat naman tayo involved doon (This is not just the fight of government. We are all involved here,” he added.
Meanwhile, Nograles said the government is doing its best to address the different health, social, and economic effects of the pandemic.
“Kami naman sa government, sa lahat ng aspeto ng governance, kino-cover namin lahat (We in the government cover all aspect of governance) whether it’s from health to social services to economy,” he said.
“Lahat naman po ‘yan ay ginagawan natin ng paraan, hinahanapan natin ng solusyon. Hindi po madali ito kaya po kami ay nagpapasalamat sa lahat ng sumusuporta, tumutulong, at gumagawa ng sariling initiatives (We are all trying to address all of those. It’s not easy that’s why we are thankful to everyone who is supporting, helping, and making an initiative),” he added.
Asked if the government will give assistance in-kind to the affected residents, Nograles said the decision will all depend on the budget.
“At the end of the day, naka-program na kasi ang 2021 budget natin at alam naman natin na hindi ‘yan basta-bastang pwede i-rearrange (our 2021 budget is already programmed and we cannot just rearrange that),” he said.
“It’s something na kailangan talaga nating kailangang pag-usapan nang masinsinan and it will necessarily involve Congress kung kinakailangan (that we need to discuss thoroughly and it will necessarily involve Congress if it is really necessary),” he added.
The government has launched another round of financial assistance to residents affected by the implementation of strict quarantine protocols in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal. Each individual is entitled to P1,000 or a maximum of P4,000 per family.