A day before Pasig City brought out its fleet of mobile palengke, Barangay Alabang in Muntinlupa City sent out its first rolling palengke on 24 March to provide residents with an opportunity to buy their food needs without having to go to the wet market.
Christine May Abas, Barangay Alabang chairwoman, corrected the idea that her barangay is a posh one.
“We also have constituents who are underprivileged. They are our priority during this time of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ),” Abas told Daily Tribune.
When they were anticipating the possible directive from President Duterte for a lockdown, she knew the barangay will have to find a way so these residents would be able to eat despite being prohibited from going out.
“We prepared 20,000 relief goods for them, but we recognized that this wouldn’t suffice the needs of more or less 72,000 residents,” she said.
Thus, the idea for a rolling palengke, a mini truck where meat, vegetables, fruits and other necessities are sold by two market vendors.
“We need to bring the needs of the people closer to them, so they won’t have to stand in long queues in the markets and talipapa,” Abas said.
At the same time, they were able to ensure that sidewalk vendors who were banned from selling their goods during the ECQ can still earn despite the situation.
The barangay chief assured residents that prices of goods being sold in the rolling palengke are comparable with those sold in markets.
“Initially, we planned to utilize our mini truck as a rolling botika, but then we converted it into a rolling palengke,” she recalled.
“Our sense of urgency as barangay officials impelled us to act promptly on the situation to help our constituents,” she added.
They immediately coordinated with local vendors and they volunteered right away.
“We chose two vendors who we considered to be the neediest and had available stocks,” the chairwoman stated.
Barangay Alabang is now planning to convert two e-tricycles as additional units of rolling palengke next week.
So far, feedback has been good, and residents are grateful for the initiative, according to Abas.
To improve the service, she said they are coming up with a schedule and accepting additional supplies for sale.
“We are also carrying out projects to help those who belong to the other sectors like the tricycle and jeepney drivers,” she said.
The barangay official said they have been tapping private companies and other stakeholders for their coordination as part of their corporate social responsibility.
Last 26 March, they launched “Kusina Natin,” which provides free cooked food for residents living in poor areas.
“We are doing our best to get more supplies and be able to deliver rubbing alcohol and vitamins soon,” she stressed.