Joining ‘lugaw is essential’ debate, food establishment labels ‘power-tripping officials’ as non-essential

April 5, 2021 - 12:49 PM
Ate Rica's Bacsilog
Food stand of Ate Rica's Bacsilog. (Photo from Ate Rica's Bagcsilog via Facebook)

Another food establishment supported the case of the “lugaw” or rice porridge incident that made waves last week and quipped that “power-tripping officials” are the ones considered “non-essential.”

Ate Rica’s Bacsilog, a food chain famous for its affordable meals of bacon, fried rice and fried eggs, shared a Facebook post attempting to advertise some of its products and at the same time, raising its stand on the viral issue.

“#LugawIsEssential #FoodIsEssential. Saludo sa mga riders,” it said in its post shared on April 1.

It also featured two columns labeled “essentials” and “non-essentials” with the phrase “para klaro lang” (just to be clear).

Items under “essentials” are some food items like bacsilog, coffee, kebab, bagnet or crispy pork belly, tempura and rice porridge.

“Incompetent, corrupt, or power-tripping officials,” meanwhile, were labeled under “non-essential.”

The post has reached viral status with 59,000 likes and reactions, 1,800 comments and 52,000 shares on Facebook so far.

The ‘lugaw’ incident 

The post was in response to the barangay official in Muzon, San Jose del Monte, Bulacan who flagged a GrabFood rider from delivering rice porridge to a customer despite being an authorized person outside residence (APOR).

Last week, rider Marvin Ignacio shared a video where he was told off by Phez Raymundo, a barangay officer, for delivering food beyond curfew hours.

Bulacan is one of the provinces placed under the enhanced community quarantine or ECQ in a bid to curb the rising COVID-19 cases in the country.

Raymundo in the video told him that while food deliveries are allowed, rice porridge is not supposedly considered an essential item.

The incident prompted the Palace to clarify that all food items are considered essential goods and therefore, can be delivered by riders beyond curfew hours.

Any food preparation establishments are allowed to operate in areas under ECQ as long as their services are “limited to take-out and delivery,” according to the Department of Trade and Industry.

RELATED: #LugawisEssential: Rice porridge delivery sparks essential goods debate

However, after the national government’s clarification, Ignacio shared a video where barangay officials ordered the closure of the food establishment serving the rice porridge.

The delivery rider also narrated how he was harassed by the officials.

Raymundo and other local officials, including Barangay Muzon Chairperson Marciano Gatchalian, have extended their apologies following the incidents.

Gatchalian added that his subordinates would be sanctioned and that the incident would serve as a learning experience.

He also said that it would never happen again.

“Hindi ko po kinukunsinti ang anumang pagkukulang at pagkakamali na nagagawa ng mga empleyado sa mga tao at mga mamamayan, lalung-lalo na sa mga residente ng Barangay Muzon,” Gatchalian said.

RELATED: Barangay officials apologize after viral lugaw rider claims harassment