THE barangayanihan, a sort of community pantry that several police units in Central Visayas launched at the Police Regional Office 7 headquarters on Osmeña Blvd. in Cebu City on Saturday, May 1, 2021, will remain open despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s call to shut down similar activities nationwide.
The President is afraid members of the Philippine National Police and the public may inadvertently expose themselves to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Many people who have been struggling financially due to the economic effects brought about by quarantine protocols have flocked to the Camp Sergio Osmeña to avail themselves of basic goods like vegetables, rice and vegetables and sanitary kits like face masks, face shields and vitamins and medicines, among others.
The President, in a statement, said there is a possibility that Covid-19 cases will go up because community pantries attract crowds who fail to observe social distancing.
Duterte urged those who have problems making ends meet to stay at home after coordinating with their respective barangays and to wait for the basic goods and sanitary kits to be delivered to them.
Col. Wilbert Parilla, deputy director for operation at the Cebu City Police Office, said they have yet to receive an order from their superiors to suspend the activity.
“So until then, our barangayanihan will continue,” Parilla said in Cebuano.
The police official said that since opening their community pantry, they’ve managed to help many “qualified” residents who were given coupons by their barangays to present at the pantry stand.
He said they strictly implement health protocols, such as social distancing, by allowing only 15 to 20 persons to line up every hour.
Parilla said the CCPO continues to accept donations no matter how big or small. (AYB / PJB)