Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte on Friday said the chaos that happened at a community pantry in Barangay Holy Spirit which led to the death of a senior citizen should serve as a reminder for organizers to coordinate their efforts with the local government to ensure that “untoward incidents are minimized” in the future.
“While Quezon City will continue to throw its full support behind community pantry initiatives, this unfortunate incident should serve as an important reminder for organizers to please be reminded of my appeal to coordinate all efforts with the barangay, and if necessary, with the LGU (local government unit),” Belmonte said in a statement.
According to Belmonte, “advanced coordination will allow all stakeholders to be proactive” instead of being “reactive” when incidents like this happen again.
“Sadly, in this case, we were not advised regarding any plans, which would have surely made a difference in the outcome of today’s events,” she said.
Belmonte’s statement came after 67-year-old Rolando dela Cruz fainted and later died while waiting for his turn at a community pantry on Don Matias Street, which was organized by actress Angel Locsin for her 36th birthday.
Thousands flocked to the pantry and violated the guidelines on social distancing.
The mayor said the local government will shoulder the burial expenses of the victim and will extend financial assistance to his family.
“My dear QCitizens, let us continue to be kind and compassionate, but practice foresight while doing both,” Belmonte said.