A barangay official on Wednesday apologized for a tarpaulin plastered on a community pantry that was perceived to be degrading to women.
The pantry organizer Marbin Garcia, a barangay councilor in Barangay Maysantol Bulakan, Bulacan recently drew flak over a tarpaulin with naughty reminder. He posted it to attract others to visit their local pantry.
Garcia posted photos of the initiative on Monday where one of them featured the controversial tarpaulin.
The community pantry initially obtained praises and support for the large setup.
Local media outlets later picked up the photo with the controversial material which later earned criticisms.
It featured a sexy image of vlogger Toni Fowler and a slogan that translates to: “Take according to your breast size.”
After drawing backlash online, Garcia issued an apology, saying that he and other co-organizers only intend to make the pantry beneficiaries happy.
“Ang mga nasabing tarpaulin at mga slogan na pumapatungkol sa mga ating mga kababaihan na ang ang tanging intensyon lamang ay ang makapagbigay na kasiyahan at aliw sa mga taong nakapila at nakibahagi sa aming community pantry,” Garcia said.
“Hindi namin naging layunin na makasakit ng damdamin o makabastos ng kahit sino lalo na ang ating mga kababaihan, dahil kagaya ng lahat sa atin ako ay may ina, kapatid at mga kamag-anak na babae na kahit kailan ay di ko nanaisin na mabastos,” he added.
In the same post, Garcia reiterated how sorry he was.
“Kung ako man po ay nakagawa ng isang bagay na hindi na maganda ako ay humihinhi ng tawad dahil muli ang tanging hangad lang namin ay pagaanin lamang ang kalooban ng mga dumalo at bigyang ngiti sa kabila ng hamon na ating kinakaharap pero kung kami ay may mga nasaktan kami ay humihingi ng tawad,” he said.
The barangay official also expressed gratitude to those who supported their community pantry that day.
“Ako at ang aking mga kasamahan ay lubos na nagpapasalamat sa mga taong nakibahagi at tumulong upang maisakatuparan ang aming gawain. Gayunpaman, may mga ilang aksyon ang hindi namin nabigyang pansin,” Garcia said.
Several community pantries were set up across the country after organizer Ana Patricia Non started her project along Maginhawa Street in Quezon City last April.
Aside from kiosks filled with donated food and goods, some Filipinos and groups launched similar bayanihan activities. They replicated the Maginhawa community pantry in various versions offering hygiene kits, free breakfast and coffee, free food and other needs for stray animals as well as installing a pantry dedicated to delivery personnel.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources-National Capital Region also started its own initiative called “Community Pan-Tree” offering free seedlings instead of food in celebration of Earth Day last month.
The agency planned to establish more pan-trees in other parts of the region.