The Philippine Coast Guard has set up a community pantry right in the middle of the sea off the province of Camarines Sur, the target beneficiaries are the fishermen affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Dubbed as “Floating Community Pantry,” PCG Camarines Sur Station commander Lt. Ailene Abanilla said it started operating on Monday, April 26, off the waters of Balatan town.
Abanilla said that they decided to set up the floating community pantry because aside from the pandemic, the local fishermen were also affected by the recent onslaught of typhoon “Bising” in the province.
“Ito pong nilunsad naming ‘Floating Community Pantry’ ay inspired po sa Maginhawa Community Pantry po na ang naglalayon po na matulungan po yung ating mga mangingisda dito po sa probinsya ng Camarines Sur na isa po sa naapektuhan ng pandemya at nitong nakaraang linggo kung saan may dumaan pong bagyo ay hindi po natin sila pinayagang pumalaot sa dagat (This ‘Floating Community Pantry' we launched was inspired by Maginhawa Community Pantry which aims to help our fishermen here in the province of Camarines Sur, who were affected by the pandemic and the recent typhoon. We did not allow them to sail during the onslaught of the typhoon),” Abanilla told the Manila Bulletin.
The Floating Community Pantry was packed with vegetables, packs of rice, canned goods, eggs, and noodles among others.
At least 75 fishermen were already given assistance of the community pantry that just started on Monday, the PCG said.
According to Abanilla, they were still asking and gathering donations to sustain the community pantry.
“Nagsusulisit pa po kami ng mga donors po na pwede pong magsponsor po sa ating pong floating community pantry and sa kasalukuyan po eh nagiipon pa po tayo para masundan po natin yung community pantry (We are still looking for donors who can sponsor our floating community pantry and as of the moment we are still gathering donations so that we can sustain the community pantry),” Abanilla said.
Abanilla said donors may drop off their in-kind donations in Coast Guard Station Camarines Sur or contact them at 09178427412.