CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga (PIA) -- Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) is strengthening development programs inside Central Luzon jails to ensure that persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) are empowered.
BJMP Regional Spokesperson Jail Senior Inspector Mark Gerald Bautista emphasized that they are implementing COVID-19 management programs to protect the PDLs and their personnel against COVID-19.
“As a result, we currently have zero COVID-19 cases because of the strict management of the disease inside our jails and among our personnel in the field,” he said.
The agency is also intensifying COVID-19 vaccination inside the jails, especially the administration of first and second booster shots, with about 99.93 percent of the PDLs, and 99.29 percent of its personnel already getting the jabs.
Also, Bautista cited that they are tying up with Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and local government units to provide skills enhancement programs suited to the needs and capacity of the PDLs.
“Out of these skills enhancement programs, we are creating livelihood programs. The PDLs will be making products, and BJMP will market these to generate income for them. This is a very good start as they are given something to do, and they will have money because of the skills they learned,” he said.
He added that they have partnered with Department of Education to provide elementary, secondary, and junior high school education to the PDLs through the Alternative Learning System.
Bautista also shared that each jail unit in the region has jail nurses to oversee health monitoring activities and check the health status of the PDLs.
“Upon commission of our PDLs, we will make them a health record, subject them to a general health check-up for us to know their needs, and then we refer them to the regional doctor. We also have isolation rooms for PDLs who are seriously ill,” he detailed.
The jails are also providing inter-faith programs, indoor and outdoor recreational activities, guidance counseling, and therapeutic community modality programs.
Records from the BJMP showed that Central Luzon has a total of 9,437 PDLs in all 37 BJMP-manned jails, as of September 21. The facilities have a congestion rate of 345 percent.
Bautista said the figure has lowered to more than half compared to last year with the completion of male and female dormitories in the provinces of Bataan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, and Tarlac. (MJSC/JLDC-PIA 3)