Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) assured that Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs) in Central Luzon are empowered by means of various development programs.
BJMP Regional Chief of Staff, and Gender and Development Focal Person JSupt. Rebecca Tiguelo shared that they are conducting programs according to the needs and capacity of the PDLs, especially the women and the senior citizens.
“We achieve gender empowerment through the equal treatment [to the PDL], and the respect of their rights in an unbiased way… Their stay in jails is just temporary, that is why we are safekeeping and developing them,” she added.
Female PDLs are given the position to lead their own groups inside the jails for them to feel the sense of leadership and in turn enhance their leadership skills.
Apart from this, BJMP is offering the Alternative Learning System so that the PDLs can still pursue their studies.
Tiguelo detailed that they partnered with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority in providing National Certificates.
The agency is also offering skills enhancement training, livelihood programs, therapeutic community modality programs mainly for drug-related cases, programs for the senior citizens, and LGBTQ Plus, and other programs so that the PDLs can still be productive inside the jails.
Also, BJMP has opened the ‘no contact visitations’ in jails where PDLs could see their families face-to-face, but without any physical contact in a bid to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The PDLs could also resort to e-dalaw or online visitation to meet their loved ones.
Meanwhile, Tiguelo emphasized that the PDLs would still be allowed to practice their right to vote by being allowed to vote their bets running in national positions only including the President, Vice President, Senators, and Partylist.
“In voting, just like what we did last elections, the voting is conducted inside the jail. Others are to be allowed to vote on-site while being escorted by our personnel in their precincts,” she stated.
Central Luzon has a total of 37 BJMP-manned jails with 9,198 total PDL. Of these, 1,094 are female PDLs, while eight jails are all-female dormitories.