'Tayo-tayo na lang': QC resident sets up community pantry amid worsening pandemic
Photo: Ana Patricia Non
MANILA, Philippines—Amid the worsening COVID-19 pandemic, a small business owner in Diliman, Quezon City, set up a shared pantry in hopes of helping her community power up through these tough times.
Ana Patricia Non shared Wednesday afternoon on Facebook her initiative called “Maginhawa Community Pantry,” which involved setting up a bamboo cart containing food and other essential goods, along with a reminder to “give what you can and take what you need.”
“Di nito masasagot ang root cause ng kagutuman pero okay na ring pantawid-gutom sa mga nangangailangan. Mahirap magtrabaho, mag-aral at lumaban habang kumakalam ang tiyan,” the 26-year-old wrote in her caption.
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In an interview, Non said she was afraid at first that the initiative would flop, as it would require collective effort to maintain. “Naging kampante naman ako dahil madaming nagpaabot ng tulong,” she said.
What inspired the project, she said, was the “agitating” current national situation, wherein many Filipinos have been struggling to find jobs and feed their families.
“Matagal na rin tayong nagde-demand pero kulang talaga ‘yung dumarating. Kaya kailangan talaga nating magtulungan, community effort gano’n. Tayo-tayo na lang kasi,” she added.
People like Non have consistently expressed their dismay over the administration’s efforts to combat the pandemic, which President Rodrigo Duterte previously referred to as “a small thing in our lives.” A that among Southeast Asian nations, Filipinos are the most disapproving of their government’s COVID-19 pandemic response.
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Malacañang, however, continues to distance itself from widespread criticism. When #DutertePalpak topped online trends last month, Palace Spokesperson Harry Roque insisted that the government was doing an “excellent job” in managing the COVID-19 situation in the country.
Recognizing how current measures fail to contain the pandemic, Non further called on the government to adopt a scientific COVID-19 response and extend more support to its constituents.
“Sapat na ayuda, bakuna, at scientific COVID response. Kasi hindi nagiging effective ‘yung paraan na ginagawa natin. Walang na-achieve sa isang taon; padami nang padami ang may sakit [at] gutom,” she said.
Non also encouraged other people to start the same initiative in their respective neighborhoods.
“Kayang-kaya niyo ‘yan! Encourage din mga kapitbahay at huwag mag-expect ng something in return,” she added.
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