Go: Community pantries welcome, but health protocols must be followed

Published April 24, 2021, 2:56 PM

by Mario Casayuran

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go on Saturday, April 24, urged the public to work in tandem with the government and helping marginalized sectors of society who have been affected by the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go (Joseph Vidal/Senate PRIB)

“Pinoproteksyunan po ng gobyerno ang karapatan ninyo na magsagawa ng sarili ninyong inisyatibo para makatulong sa inyong komunidad. Pero intindihin rin sana natin na ginagampanan rin ng gobyerno ang kanyang tungkulin, ayon sa ating mga batas, na proteksyunan rin ang bawat tao mula sa kapahamakan dahil bawat buhay ng Pilipino ay importante sa labang ito (The government protects your rights to make initiatives to help your communities. But understand that government has the duty to protect each citizen from harm because the life of every Filipino is paramount),” Go said in a staement.

The administration senator referred to organizers of community pantries, which have sprouted in various areas of the country.

Go, chairman of the Senate health and demography committee, said the intent of these community initiatives is good, but health guidelines must be followed lest they become virus spreaders.

He stressed the importance of cooperating with authorities and abiding by the necessary health and safety protocols.

“Not only do we welcome and commend these efforts, we also agreed to encourage all government workers, including AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) and PNP (Philippine National Police) personnel, to participate and show utmost support to community-driven initiatives aimed at helping Filipinos cope with the ongoing pandemic,” he said.

Go reiterated the need for unity among the Filipino people in cooperation with the government, saying that “any success or failure on the part of government or the private sector could not be mutually exclusive since both involve the welfare and well-being of the whole population.”

He said the involvement of law enforcers is not meant to impede the operations of the private initiatives but to, instead, ensure order so they can attain their intended outcome.

A senior citizen was reported to have died after losing consciousness at a community pantry organized by actress Angel Locsin in Quezon City on Friday, April 23. People were seen violating health protocols in their rush to get assistance.