MANILA – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has ordered its Civil-Military Operations Office (J7) to support community pantries and other similar activities.
“So, in fact, we are looking for funds for this purpose and (I’m) even contemplating of convincing the members of the Armed Forces to donate one day of our subsistence allowance so with that we will be able to accumulate a substantial amount to support the community pantry or other similar humanitarian undertakings,” AFP chief-of-staff, Gen. Cirilito Sobejana said in a virtual presser on Thursday.
Regardless of what these are called, Sobejana said what is important is that the planned effort will be able to help feed people who lost their livelihood due to lockdowns.
“I-identify natin yung mga areas that are declared locked down, sila yung pupuntahan natin at mag-deliver tayo ng maaring pagkain or iba pa na pangangailangan nila (We will identify areas that are under locked down, we will go to them at deliver to them food and other necessities they might need),” he added.
He said other challenges faced by the military will not hamper it from extending a helping hand.
“I should say we are in turmoil with Covid-19, with what is happening in the West Philippine Sea, with our internal security problem marami tayong problema (we have a lot of problems), now with Covid-19, some sectors of our society are locked down, they could not earn (a living), kaya itong gesture ng pagpapakain sa ating mga kapatid na masasabi nating less fortunate ay isang humanitarian action which your Armed Forces being the protector of the people at sumusuporta nito (so that this gesture of feeding our less fortunate brothers is a humanitarian gesture which your Armed Forces being the protector of the people strongly supports,” he said.
Meanwhile, Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said “kindness is everyone’s color.”
“Kahit ano pa ang paniniwala nya, basta taos pusong tumutulong, susuportahan natin. (Regardless of their beliefs, as long as they are helping whole-heartedly, we will support the) The DND appreciates and supports the initiative of these community pantries. We are ready to assist if requested by the LGUs (local government units) and the DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government) and, if necessary, to deploy the AFP Mobile Kitchens where they are needed,” Lorenzana said.
As this developed, the Philippine Navy (PN) on Thursday turned over some PHP3.3 million donated by its officers and personnel to support the country’s Covid-19 response operations.
Office of Civil Defense Administrator Undersecretary Ricardo B. Jalad received the check donations from PN chief Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo J. Bacordo during a virtual turnover ceremony.
“The Navy made a donation previously from the personnel subsistence allowance. With the continuing effort to address the pandemic, we decided to continue to contribute to the Covid-19 response operations, and without hesitation, we did so again,” Bacordo said. (PNA)