Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto and Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso have both released statements on Tuesday (April 20), announcing that community pantries in their respective cities will not be required permits to continue operations.

Both local governments have assured their citizens that the initiative may continue as it is.

In a tweet, Sotto took the opportunity to thank the people who organized community pantries in different parts of Pasig, noting any effort to help is welcome.

“Community Pantries have sprung up in Pasig. We commend the individuals who are helping as they can afford. Government has limited resources, so any effort to help others is very welcome,” he said.

“Para sa mga nagtatanong, hindi kailangan ng permit. Wala po tayong “Permit to Help,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, Domagoso also aired similar sentiments – encouraging his constituents to show ‘compassion,’ ‘love,’ and ‘care’ towards one another.

He shared that the pantries in his area of jurisdiction are free to continue, telling the Manila Police District (MPD) not to arrest those organizing the charity stalls.

Earlier the same day, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Martin Diño announced that community pantries around the Philippines should procure permits from their respective LGUs to continue operating. 

According to Diño, the permits will ensure that stalls are following social distancing and health protocols as the country is still in the pandemic. 

He has since retracted his statements after the public’s outcry over his suggestions, which some described as red tape. 

The community pantry initiative was catapulted into action by Ana Patricia Non – setting up a stall at a street in Maginhawa, Quezon City. Since its inception a week ago, the movement has spread like wildfire in many parts of the country, especially in Luzon.

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Image credit: Manila’s Public Information Office