The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has urged local government unit (LGUs) to include persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) in their coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination programs.
It pointed out that PDLs have the right to health such as getting vaccinated against COVID-19, especially since the country’s detention facilities are congested and the risk of infection is high.
The Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) had admitted that it is dependent on the LGUs in the vaccination of PDLs where they are incarcerated. BuCor has seven penal colonies in the country.
While urging LGUs to help in the vaccination of PDLs, the commission paid tribute to the local governments of General Santos City and Bocaue in Bulacan which gave priority to the vaccination of prisoners.
Last Aug. 20, BuCor said that only 474 of the more than 48,000 PDLs in its prison facilities have been vaccinated.
Of those vaccinated, BuCor said that 200 are detained at the Correctional Institution for Women (CIW) in Mandaluyong City, 214 at the San Ramon Prison and Penal Farm (SRPPF) in Zamboanga City, and 60 at the Davao Prison and Penal Farm (DPPF) in Davao del Norte.
Two days later on Aug. 22, BuCor said that a total of 2,688 PDLS in various Correctional Institution for Women (CIW) has received their first vaccine dose against COVID-19.
Also, BuCor said that 11 employees of the CIW in Mandaluyong City got vaccinated. during the two-day vaccination operations.
On March 11, 2020, the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) has suspended jail visits in all its 468 supervised jail facilities in the country.
The government has recently ramped up its inoculation drive amidst the threat of the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19.
As of Aug. 27, 2021, the Department of Health (DOH) said the country has a total of 142,531 active COVID-19 cases.