Año says seniors should not line up in community pantries
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año on Sunday said senior citizens should not line up in community pantries.
Instead their relatives should be the one to get the goods for them, he said in a radio interview.
Año said under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) only those who are aged 18 to 65 are allowed to go out.
"We have a rule that the only exemption is if the senior citizen is living alone... They are allowed to buy essential goods so we are appealing to seniors, if you have an adult (relative) they should be the one to fall in line and get items (from the community pantry)," he said.
"Seniors should not go out because they are vulnerable," he added.
Año said seniors should not go out since the country, especially Metro Manila, has still a lot of active COVID-19 cases.
He made the statement after a senior citizen fainted while falling in line during a community pantry event in Quezon City. When he was brought to the hospital, he was declared dead-on-arrival.
While he cannot say for now if actress Angel Locsin, organizer of the said community pantry, should be held liable, Año said they should properly coordinate with the barangay officials.
"I already gave my instruction to (Philippine National Police chief) General Debold Sinas to conduct an investigation and from there we will know the accountability of the organizer (and the) barangay... We are not pointing at anyone here, no one wants that to happen, it just so happened that a senior died," he said. Ella Dionisio/DMS