“Tulong Anakpawis” continues amid DILG restrictions
Manila, Philippines — Despite the stricter measures imposed by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) on the conduct of relief operations, the progressive group Anakpawis, through its ”Tulong Anakpawis” relief operations drive was able to successfully give out “nutri-lief” packs to urban poor residents of Pandacan, Manila today.
More than 100 families received relief goods as the recepients and relief volunteers orderly followed physical distancing within the community. Each pack contains rice and fresh vegetables directly purchased from small farmers.
According to former Anakpawis Representative Ariel Casilao, “DILG’s obvious gatekeeping and attempt to control humanitarian efforts runs counter with the principles of compassion and community spirit or bayanihan at this time of crisis.“
“Strict implementation of the extended Enhanced Community Quarantine should not be a hindrance to relief delivery operations. Likewise, lockdown enforcement is also not tantamount to violation of the peoples’ human rights,” Casilao, now Anakpawis National Vice President added.
He was among those arrested, along with the 6 relief volunteers, by the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Norzagaray Bulacan last April 19.
The progressive group also responded by sending sacks of rice and foods to the 90 construction workers who are currently stranded in Brgy. Don Galo, Parañaque City last Monday. This was after a worker sought the group’s help through social media.
“While the DILG is discrediting our relief drive as ‘unauthorized’, ordinary people who barely feel the presence of the government recognize our simplest efforts to assist those in need in this emergency situation. The DILG should be ashamed of themselves for impeding humanitarian efforts of non-government and civil society groups. Instead of threatening us with arrest, they should help humanitarian volunteers in smoothly delivering their aid to the distressed communities,” ended Casilao. ###