Sprouting ‘community pantries’ highlight insufficient aid, and government neglect

The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) applauds the efforts of various communities to put up Community Pantries as inspired by the Maginhawa Community Pantry in Quezon City. To people spearheading community pantries, may your tribe increase. This is the real Filipino Bayanihan spirit in action. “Tayo-tayo na lang talaga ang magtutulungan. Matagal na tayong pinabayaan at inabandona ng Pangulo na walang ginawa kundi murahin at insultuhin tayo sa kanyang mga public address.”

Community Pantries that allow people to contribute whatever they have to spare and to get only what they need is inspiring and uplifting in this time of stark government neglect and abandonment. Aside from Maginhawa St. in Teachers’ Village, similar community pantries were set also up in Maginhawa St. Caloocan City, Los Banos, P. Noval, and Sta. Mesa in Manila, Marikina, and other cities. KMP and peasant organization will set up a community pantry along Pook Amorsolo-C.P. Garcia in Barangay UP Campus Village, Quezon City.

These charitable efforts of Filipinos helping each other also highlight the government’s inaction to provide sufficient aid to Filipinos who are severely affected by the pandemic — the unemployed, the displaced workers, those who do not have any means of livelihood, and all who were left out of the government’s supplemental amelioration program.

We cannot help but compare these community-led small-scale efforts of aiding the poor and in need with the government’s ayuda distribution wherein SAP beneficiaries are treated like beggars and paupers queueing for meager 1K to 4K cash aid.

People are giving and contributing in their way through these pantries while the government, which has all the resources and the budget, keeps failing at helping those in most need. Tuwing magbibigay ng ayuda ang gobyerno at LGU, parang utang pa ng mga tao ang 1K na ayuda samantalang galing din ito sa buwis ng taumbayan.

KMP said the people’s discontent and frustration over Duterte’s year-long failed pandemic response already reached a crucial juncture with almost 40,000 people joining an online petition demanding the President’s resignation. Filipinos calling for Duterte’s resignation as the only way to save the nation is the reality that Malacanang must face. ##

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