A group of front-liners on Sunday urged community pantry organizers to prioritize basic health protocols above good intentions when helping the needy during COVID-19 pandemic.
In a virtual interview during the Lingkud Bayanihan weekly video show, Alvin Constantino, Confederate Sentinels of God (CSG) Inc. founder, appealed to well-intentioned organizers to strictly observe the minimum health protocols to protect everyone against the coronavirus during such events.
“Let us think and plan out well our community pantry projects so we can truly help our less fortunate and suffering neighbors experiencing hunger because of the pandemic,” he said.
“Let us not cause COVID-19 transmissions in our communities that can lead to the untimely deaths of our poor neighbors. I salute the hearts of community pantry organizers. Your hearts are similarly attuned to the hearts of our patriotic Filipino heroes of the past,” Constantino added.
Last April 23, a 67-year-old man collapsed and died while waiting in line at a community pantry organized by actress Angel Locsin in Barangay Holy Spirit.
Four individuals who also lined up at Locsin’s community pantry tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Quezon City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit.
Dr. Leo Olarte, Bayanihan Frontliners Movement lawyer-president, told reporters their food and relief goods operations are coupled with a free 24/7 online telemedicine service (www.docph.org) that would roll out house-to-house nationwide starting in Metro Manila, with help from the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
Dr. Benito Atienza, Philippine Medical Association president, said a joint Lingkud Bayanihan caravan kicked off Sunday at Hospital de San Jose Orphanage in Quiapo, Manila for the distribution of food, relief goods, and access to free online telemedicine services to about 450 children and elderly.
“We will continue to push for the Filipino bayanihan spirit, together with other partners. We will again open the PMA auditorium at North Avenue, Quezon City to receive any donations in kind,” Atienza added.