The Quezon City government said it supports the establishment of community pantries in the city while the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) said no permits are required for the establishment of such.
“I would like to personally assure Ms. Ana Patricia Non and other like-minded individuals that the local government of Quezon City fully supports community pantries,” Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said in a statement posted over Twitter on Tuesday.
Non was the first to set up a community pantry in Maginhawa Street in Quezon City but was forced to stop its operations on Tuesday claiming she and her volunteers were “red-tagged” by law enforcers.
“I have bad news. Tomorrow [Tuesday] we will put the #MaginhawaCommunityPantry on pause for the safety of our volunteers,” Non said in a social media post also on Tuesday.
“This is sad because we won’t be able to give the goods that we have prepared the entire day because of the #RedTagging that is happening,” she said.
She then appealed for help from Belmonte who responded immediately.
“Indeed, these initiative highlight the bayanihan spirit inherent in our QCitizens. The city government will therefore ensure that the organizers and beneficiaries of community pantries remain safe and unimpeded,” Belmonte said.
The mayor also ordered the Quezon City Police District to conduct an investigation on Non’s “apprehensions and earlier experiences.”
On the part of the DILG, its Undersecretary Martin Dino retracted from his earlier statement that community pantries need permits.
“Community pantries don’t need to get permits from local government units,” he said. SOVEREIGNPH