Parol-making brings Christmas cheer to Iloilo inmates

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It will be a joyous season for persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) at the male dormitory of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) in Barangay Ungka, Jaro whose hands are full working on the more or less 3,000 Christmas parols (lanterns) in time for the holidays.

“This is very helpful for our PDLs. Actually, this is a source of income for them. Come Christmas and New Year, may ara sila igahatag na financial support para sa ila pamilya (they can give financial support to their families),” BJMP Jail Warden Supt. Jairus Anthony D. Dogelio said in an interview.

The project is expected to generate up to PHP1 million in income to also include orders from the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) - Iloilo, government agencies, and the private sector.

“We are already producing the lanterns. With the help of everybody, especially the government and the private sector, it is definitely a merry Christmas for our PDLs,” he said.

Since they began in August, they have completed nearly 300 lanterns.

Meanwhile, 30 PDLs who completed school through the Alternative Learning System (ALS) began their seven-day livelihood skills training on bread-making being handled by the Technical Institute of Iloilo City (TICC) of the Iloilo City government in partnership with the Philippine Foremost Milling Corp.

Dogelio said the skills training is important and beneficial to the target beneficiaries since there has been no such kind of training conducted inside the facility that was placed on lockdown during the pandemic.

“Our PDLs are very happy they are given another skills training for their livelihood in case they will be released from the facility,” he said.

Hopefully, he said, the bread production would not only be within the jail facility but would become a regular business with the support of the community.

The Terms of Reference were signed by the BJMP, Iloilo City government, TICC, and the Philippine Foremost Milling Corp. on September 12.

An additional 25 ALS completers have decided to pursue their senior high school under an academic track via modular with the St. Roberts International College that began last month.

“Hopefully, this will inspire our other PDLs to pursue even just a basic education, as well as secondary education,” Dogelio said.

The BJMP male dormitory has 615 PDLs.PNA




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