DAVAO CITY – The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology in Region 11 (BJMP 11) recently launched its first virtual bazaar that showcased the livelihood products made by persons deprived of liberty (PDLs).

(Photos courtesy of BJMP Regional Office 11 / MANILA BULLETIN)
The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology in Region 11 (BJMP 11) recently launched its first virtual bazaar that showcased the livelihood products made by persons deprived of liberty (PDLs). (Photos courtesy of BJMP Regional Office 11 / MANILA BULLETIN)

“When the pandemic hit, the PDLs under our care comprised one of the sectors in the populace that suffered the most. All BJMP-manned jails nationwide were on lockdown, meaning no one was allowed to leave or enter the jail premises,” Jail Senior Inspector Ellen Rose Garcia, chief of the Welfare and Development Division of BJMP Region 11 told The Manila Bulletin.

Garcia said lockdowns meant that “there were no visitations from their loved ones, and from our service providers.”

“Though all that, PDLs under our jurisdiction were provided with the bare essentials, we simply cannot provide for all their needs,” she added.

Garcia said there are currently more than 4,000 PDLs, under their care with only 544 personnel in the region. PDLs are those who are still undergoing trial or are awaiting judgment.

Garcia said they launched the online bazaar to offer the products made by the PDL to more people.

“When we started posting the livelihood products of our PDL in our official Facebook page, we noticed that there were numerous inquiries on how to buy the products,” she said.

Garcia said they decided to post all the livelihood products of all participating jail units to give people a variety of options.

The virtual bazaar features several products made by PDL from Davao City Jail, Digos City District Jail, Panabo City District Jail, Montevista District Jail, and Igacos City Jail.

Products included handmade bags, paintings, coin banks, plant holders, and cement bricks.

Garcia said holding an online bazaar was more convenient.

“We don’t have to deplete our manpower to have them man the stalls. Budget-wise, an online bazaar is also very, very cheap,” she said.

The only disadvantage, she added, was that buyers cannot personally see the items.

“They cannot touch the craftsmanship that goes into the products. There is just something that pictures cannot depict,” she said.

All profits of the online bazaar go to the PDLs. Garcia said the PDLs and the welfare and development officer agree upon a small percentage to go to the livelihood fund for future livelihood ventures or for PDL activities.

The livelihood programs of the BJMP are one of the many programs of the agency to equip PDLs with the skills necessary to provide for themselves and their family even under detention.

“In fact, some ex-PDL continue to use their newfound skills even after their release,” Garcia said.

“We also hope that this will be an effective platform to eradicate the stigma that PDL are incapable of being useful in society, the common mindset that ‘ang mga preso ay palamunin ng gobyerno’ (prisoners burden the government),” she added.

“We want to champion that the time these PDL spends behind bars are productive and all fashioned to reshape them into a responsible citizen upon their eventual release,” she said. 


Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2020/09/25/online-bazaar-features-handicraft-made-by-pdls-in-region-11/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=online-bazaar-features-handicraft-made-by-pdls-in-region-11)