By Erma Edera
The Manila Police District first “honesty store” has closed after heavy losses, ironically because of dishonesty among the customers.
The “Manila’s Finest Honesty Store” considered to be the first of its kind, sells basic food items that we normally see in a typical neighborhood sundry store like canned food, soda, instant noodles, and instant coffee.
Police said they aim to test the values and honesty of its customers and to debunk ideas that associate policemen with corruption.
“Honesty is the best policy. That is the concept of this. Kung sa maliliit na bagay ay honest ka, paano pa sa malalaking bagay? (If you are honest on little things, how much more on bigger matters?),” former MPD Spokesperson Erwin Margarejo said.
Just like the honesty store in Ivana, Batanes, the food items and other everyday essentials are left unattended.
Even though no one is looking, customers who frequent the store are expected to deposit their payment and get their change from a plastic box placed on top of the food shelf.
“It’s all up to you dahil pwede kang hindi mag-bayad pero aim kasi nito na ituro sa lahat ang value of honesty (The customer can choose not to pay but this system aims to teach the value of honesty),” Margarejo said.
However, after six months of operation, MPD Finest Brotherhood Cooperative general manager Ester Tan decided to close the store over the weekend.
Tan disclosed that ever since they started operating in June, they have already lost a hefty amount of money. It can be recalled that some P10,000 cash and products were stolen from the honesty store.
The suspect was later identified as an errand woman at the MPD.
The honesty store was launched by former MPD Director Chief Superintendent Rolando Anduyan in June 2018.