'Red-tagging' of community pantries is a desperate move from the government

Apr 21, 2021 0 comments

One year later, barely anything changed for us. We are now in a much deeper mess than we are from last year, and the end of the tunnel is still far from here. 


The COVID-19 cases in the country continue to rise together with the country's unemployment rate — leaving more than four million Filipinos jobless, hungry, and in danger during these dark times. From the slow 'ayuda' distribution to late vaccine roll-out, the government's failure to alleviate the suffering of its citizens has forced many Filipinos to take the matter of survival into their own hands. 


In the past couple of days, "community pantries" have emerged exponentially in different parts of the country to fill the government's inaction and complacency. Started by entrepreneur Patricia Non along a street in Quezon City, the idea of these "community pantries" is simple enough: Magbigay ayon sa kakayahan. Kumuha batay sa pangangailangan.” 


From street sweepers to the homeless, these initiatives already helped a lot of folks in the community. Unsurprisingly, this well-intentioned initiative became a target for the government to accuse its organizer of having communist ties— forcing them to shut their services temporarily.



PNP chief Gen. Debold Sinas has since denied that the PNP has been red-tagging the organizers of community pantries. However, many official Facebook pages of different precincts in the metro have shared the Facebook post, which red-tags the organizers of the community pantry.  


This is why we can't have nice things


They say, "A fool can make an enemy, but a wise person can make a friend." It's a simple notion, yet this government seems to forget it—every time.  Don't they have other jobs to do other than red-tagging innocent civilians?  


Come to think of it, with all the crazy things that are happening in our country. The government decides to "red-tag" something that actually works and helps our community. The fact that they are more "concerned" about the non-existent "danger" of community pantries than the empty stomachs of poor and low-income Filipino families is yet another reminder of the failures, misplaced priorities, and inactions of this government. 


The community pantries' red-tagging incident shows the government's absolute priority: to hold control over our empowered communities. 


Community pantries prove that we can still be a nation of Bayanihan. But that should not be taken for granted. We should still ask for immediate accountability and a concrete national plan. 




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