Community pantries: New people power
The public’s heartwarming response towards growing number of “community pantries”, to me, is a form of “people power” against hardships, hopelessness and poverty in this COVID-19 crisis. Call it many names, “tithing” by the more fortunate for the lesser ones, “sharing” of family blessings to the most needy, “helping” a kababayan or “bayanihan”. But this unique Filipino gesture, I think, is an original first in the world. It is something that we must all be proud of.
And I commend the young entrepreneur Ms Ana Patricia Non, who spearheaded this beautiful project and the residents of Maginhawa street, Quezon City, who supported her idea. In an Inquirer interview, Ms Non was very clear, and we should all listen. “This is not charity. This is like a mutual aid. We’re all helping each other.”
People and families genuinely sharing their excess food and essentials to recipients who are honest and trustworthy enough to get what they just need. This is a mutual display of pure love and charity by virtuous donors responded equally by the sincere gratitude of the persons in need. Pinoys helping out other Pinoys with heavier burdens in this crisis. And this is why I fully abhor people who put ideological, political and selfish slants on this new phenomena of Pinoy power. They are really out of line here.
Makati leads in free COVID-19 vaccine rollout
The country’s financial district, through its BAKUNA MAKATI, makes sure that nobody is left behind in its very efficient Free COVID-19 vaccination rollout. In fact, it has completed the vaccination of all healthcare workers including those in private clinics.
Makati Mayor Abby said city health officials are now completing the inoculation of all residents with co-morbidities. It also opened registration for the vaccination of the rest of its over 500,000 population through its online portal www.proudmakatizen.com.
I am a resident of Rockwell Makati and I received feedback from jab recipients who were all praises for the efficient rollout in less than an hour per person. Health workers all wear protective gear with proper physical distancing. Lines are orderly where rich and poor alike patiently await their turn.
First step involves checking of vitals before a 15-minute wait for the vaccine. After the jab, recipients are sent home with paracetamol and given their schedule for the second dose.
Before they leave, they are informed on what they might expect after receiving the vaccine’s first dose. Venue organizers also provide contact details of assigned vaccine coordinators for any concerns the recipients may have.
Mayor Abby earlier announced that the city government purchased Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccines. “We intend to vaccinate all Makatizens, including real property owners, business owners, and non-registered voters who reside in the city. We want them to be safe from the virus, and we are aiming for 100 percent vaccination in the city,” she said.
The city also launched a massive information campaign involving medical experts on infectious diseases and vaccination to ensure that all doubts, concerns, and questions on the COVID-19 vaccines are answered.
Overall, I am amazed and therefore not at all surprised that Makatizens are truly fortunate to have a responsive and service-oriented chief executive.
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