Gabriela: Give NTF-ELCAC funds to community pantries

Gabriela party-list proposed to their fellow lawmakers to distribute the funds of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) to community pantries instead of wasting the people’s money on red-tagging.

This is amid calls by some lawmakers to cut funding the NTF-ELCAC for its baseless association with some individuals and groups in communism.

Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas told TeleRadyo that may empower President Rodrigo Duterte to transfer the P19 billion NTF-ELCAC fund for aid distribution, as is done in community pantries.

“Nung kinuwenta nga namin ‘yan, nasa 1.9 million na families ang siyang makikinabang diyan. Kung ikukuwenta natin ‘yan sa community pantries, ilan ang matutulungan n’yan, about 271,000 community pantries for one week. Malaking bagay po ‘yun para sa nagugutom nating mamamayan,” said Brosas.

Aside from Brosas, many senators called for the removal of NTF-ELCAC funding after it recklessly linked community pantry organizers to communism.

Its spokesperson Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade, even compared the founder of Maginhawa community pantry, Ana Patricia Non, to the devil, who in turn angered many senators.

Gabriela: Give NTF-ELCAC funds to community pantries

The bloc, which includes Gabriela, has filed a bill that seeks to provide P10,000 in aid to Filipinos who are impoverished in this pandemic.

They said its target is to cover not only the poor but also those in the middle class who are already responding to their needs.

Brosas stressed that the government must admit that the P1,000 to P4,000 aid per family distributed now under modified is not enough in Metro Manila and neighboring provinces, where some businesses are still affected.

The community pantry, they said, is proof that many Filipinos are hungry.

“Sa totoo lang… sa pagsulpot ng napakaraming community pantry manifestation talaga ‘yan ng gutom na inaabot ng mga Pilipino.”

 () Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the police may have violated a provision in the Data Privacy Law when they asked the details of the people who built various community pantries in the country.

“Possibly the data privacy law, depending on the kind of personal data obtained without the consent of the person concerned, and the purpose for which the data was obtained,” said Guevarra.