Pateros Mayor Miguel Ponce III said the municipal government will not stop community pantries and he even encouraged the rich to donate and help the less fortunate.
In a Facebook Live broadcast, Ponce said there are at least three community pantries in Pateros where people can get food and other items for free.
“Ito ay ini-encourage natin. This is a welcome development, at hindi po natin pinipigil itong mga community pantries na ito. At hinihimok pa nga natin lalo ang ating mga kababayang may pera o may kaya pa na tumulong dito sa mga community pantry na ito upang matulungan po natin ang ating mga kababayan na nagugutom, na merong makain at least sa mga araw na kaya nating bigyan ng tulong itong mga community pantries na ito (We encourage this. This is a welcome development, and we are not stopping these community pantries. We encourage people especially those who have money or able to help community pantries so that we can help our countrymen who are hungry, that they can have food on days that we can assist these community pantries),” he said.
However, he urged pantry organizers to observe minimum health protocols including wearing of face masks and face shields, and social distancing.
“Ito po ay hindi naman natin pinipigil at ang sa katotohanan nga po ay ini-encourage natin. Ang pakiusap ko lang doon po sa organizers ng community pantry ay tiyakin po natin na talagang mao-observe ang social distancing at walang magiging violation sa ating ipinapatupad na minimum health protocols dahil ito po ang ating pinag-iingatan (We are not stopping this and in fact, we are encouraging it. I just want to call on the organizers of the community pantry to ensure that social distancing is observed and there will be no violation of minimum health protocols we are implementing),” he said.
Ponce added, “While we are encouraging itong mga taong may kaya na mag-donate dito sa mga community pantry at pinapaalalahanan naman natin ‘yung ating mga kababayan na nangangailangan na kumuha lamang tayo ng sapat upang makabahagi din ‘yung mga nangangailangan din. Nais kong isabay din ang pagpapaalala na higit ding mahalaga ang ating kalusugan sa kalagitnaan ng ganitong aktibididad. (While we are encouraging rich people to donate to community pantries, we are reminding our countrymen to get items that they only need so that other people in need can also partake. I also remind people that our health is important in the midst of this activity).”