Timor-Leste takes leaf out of PH’s book, sets up own community pantry
MANILA, Philippines — Timor-Leste has set up its first community pantry, taking inspiration from the popular initiative of a Filipino businesswoman in Quezon City, but which is now subject to government probe for alleged links to the communist propaganda.
In a Facebook post Wednesday, Vice Consul of the Philippine Embassy in Dili Laser Sumagaysay said that after the economic crisis brought by the recent flooding in Timor-Leste, on top of a year-long lockdown due to COVID-19, he discussed with some Timorese friends and diplomats the concept of “bayanihan” in the Philippines.
Sumagaysay said he showed photos of some of the community pantries that have popped up everywhere in the Philippines to Timorese diplomats.
BAYANIHAN IN TIMOR-LESTELoron diak!Noting the local economic effect of this month’s historic flooding in #Dili and…
This led the Timorese people to set up its first community pantry, raising the same slogans that the Maginhawa community pantry first raised.
While aid coming from the Philippines is focused on the Filipino community in Timor-Leste, Sumagaysay said that by introducing community pantries, “we can still contribute to the overall humanitarian effort of our host country.”
“And, it could simply be by introducing beneficial Ph practices, values, or concepts in the hopes that it could be replicated, adapted, or improved by the local community,” he said.
On April 4, Tropical Cyclone Seroja ravaged Timor-Leste leaving at least 37 people killed and at least 70 people missing.
Community pantries first started in the Philippines after Ana Patricia Non, a Diliman-based business owner started a small shared pantry in hopes of helping her community whose residents were adversely affected by the year-long pandemic and fresh lockdowns amid surging COVID-19 cases.
This inspired similar initiatives to sprout everywhere from Metro Manila to almost every other region of the country.
On Wednesday, Non said that there are now around 350 community pantries nationwide.
Several officials in the country pointed out that the initiative is a sign of the government’s slow response in giving aid to the affected communities amid the pandemic.
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