Quezon City reminds residents of standing curfew as they queue at community pantries

April 22, 2021 - 8:14 PM
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Residents line up to get free food and supplies as the Maginhawa community pantry in Quezon City reopens on Wednesday, April 21, 2021. (The STAR/Michael Varcas)

The Quezon City government on Thursday reminded its residents to observe the unified curfew hours as the city remains under the modified enhanced community quarantine.

The National Capital Region and surrounding provinces Laguna, Cavite, Rizal and Bulacan are still under MECQ until April 30.

The unified curfew for Metro Manila is from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.

In a statement, the local government stressed that the city supports community pantries provided that the residents should also observe quarantine measures to help prevent the spread of the virus which causes COVID-19.

“Buo ang suporta ng pamahalaang lungsod sa Community Pantries. Ito po ay isang uri ng bayanihan at pagmamalasakit na likas sa ating mga Pilipino,” the city government said.

“Gayunman, nais nating ipaalala sa lahat na ang NCR + ay nasa ilalim pa rin ng Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ), at umiiral pa rin ang unified curfew hours mula 8:00 PM hanggang 5:00 AM sa Metro Manila batay sa Metro Manila Council Resolution no. 21-06,” it added.

The city government further hoped that the public would cooperate in observing the mandated minimum health protocols while queuing for their aid.

“Sundin po natin ang oras ng pagpila at iba pang alituntunin na itinakda ng organizers ng community pantries. Mahalaga ang pakikiisa nating lahat para matulungan ang mga higit na nangangailangan, kasabay ng ating pagsisikap na mapababa ang bilang ng nagkakasakit dahil sa virus,” it said.

This reminder was issued after five people who lined up for the community pantry in Maginhawa Street were reportedly asked to pay a fine for violating the curfew.

ABS-CBN reported that the five individuals lined up at the Maginhawa community pantry earlier than 5 a.m. They were later flagged by the Quezon City Task Force Disiplina for violating the curfew and were slapped P300 fine each.

Such a penalty for the curfew violation earned some criticisms online.

Reporter Karen Davila pointed out that these individuals lined up to receive aid in the first place.

“This is ridiculous. Kaya nga nakapila sa community pantry ay dahil sila po ay nangangailangan. Tapos sinampahan pa ng P300. Ginto ang P300 sa panahon ngayon. Walang kita ang tao. Why make the poor suffer more?” Davila said.

Activist Raoul Manuel echoed the same comment, saying the cash penalty is too much.

“Wag naman ganito. Pumila na nga kasi gutom at walang makain tapos ganito pa,” Manuel said.

When asked for a statement about this incident, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte assured that she would shoulder the costs of the penalty for now.

She also reminded the residents that there’s a standing ordinance on curfew in the city.

“An ordinance has been violated. OVRs have been issued so the penalty must be paid. But taking into consideration the circumstances they are in, I will be the one to pay the penalty in their behalf w strict warning not to repeat the violation,” Belmonte said.

Disclosure: Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte is a shareholder of Philstar Global Corp., which operates digital news outlet Interaksyon. This article was produced following editorial guidelines.