Organic candles in different sizes and designs made by Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs) of the Provincial Jail (PJ) in Nueva Vizcaya made a killing during the recent All Souls and All Saints Day observance in the province.
Candle making aside from Christmas lantern and decoration making for the coming Christmas season next month have become the latest products of the PDLs along with several Prison Guards who recently received training through a partnership between the PJ and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
“Through this program, our PDLs can develop life skills and earn a decent income in a creative manner while inside the jail and when reintegrated into the community. Let us help Persons Deprived of Liberty by promoting and supporting their livelihood products,” Andrada said.
The candle making venture is one of the many opportunities being offered by the PJ among the PDLs who are interested to learn various skills and knowledge while inside the facility within the provincial capitol compound in Bayombong town. With the facilities and livelihood opportunities inside the PJ has been considered as “Bahay ni Kuya/Ate” for having the continuing programs, projects and activities for the educational, spiritual, psychological and social transformation of the PDLs.
While inside the PJ, PDLs can be educated by learning through the Alternative Learning System (ALS) of the Department of Education (DepEd) and skills training programs of TESDA and receive corresponding diplomas and certifications. Recently, PDLs who have successfully completed their skills training were given Starter Tool Kits by the TESDA and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to start their chosen livelihood venture.
“Just recently, 25 of our PDLs who enrolled in Organic Agriculture Production NC-II received P 3,320.00 each as training allowance from TESDA,” Andrada said.
He said 18 PDLs also completed their Junior High School studies and got their certificate of completion, while 20 others are enrolled in the Senior High School (TVL-Electrical Installation and Maintenance) for School Year 2022-2023.
The ALS-SHS, according to the DepEd officials in the province is a pilot ALS course offering in Cagayan Valley region. Partnerships and linkages with other government agencies and non-government organizations are being maintained to guide the PDLs in improving the quality and marketing of their products such as wood crafts and other souvenir items, among others.
“Whatever income they can get from their products will be given to their families or for their personal needs and savings,” Andrada said.
Andrada said regular visits and conduct of legal consultation among members of the judiciary are also being done for the PDLs especially Children In Conflict with the Law (CICL) including regular Sunday mass and other religious activities.
The Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) also conducts Focus Group Discussions with the PDLs whose cases involves Gender-Based violence.
This is in-line with their Project TIKAS (True men Indeed Keeps a Woman Safe) and Project WAKASAN (Women Ascending in Knowledge Attitudes and Skills).
“This FGD aims to gather significant insights from the point of view of the inmates which may be contributory to program planning to address incidence of gender-based violence cases in this province,” said Flordelina Granada, Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer.
Andrada said the wholistic transformation of the PDLs at the PJ will be continued with the support of their partners from the national as well as local government units.
“We hope to see our PDLs to learn whatever they can while inside our PJ so that once they go outside, they are now empowered as responsible citizens of our society,” he said. (BME/PIA NVizcaya)