Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra assured on Monday, Oct. 18, he will ask Secretary Carlito G. Galvez Jr., vaccine czar and chief implementer of the National Task Force Against (NTF) COVID-19, to allocate more vaccines for persons deprived of liberty (PDLs).
“The crowded condition in prison facilities makes it necessary to give attention to the PDLs’ plight,” Guevarra said.
The Department of Justice (DOJ), through the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor), manages seven prison facilities in the country with a total population of 48,511 PDLs.
Guevarra’s assurance to request vaccines for prisoners was made after he learned that less than 10 per cent or only 4,774 PDLs have been vaccinated as of Oct. 18.
He explained that BuCor’s prison facilities have been relying on local government units (LGUs) where the facilities are located for the vaccination of PDLs.
BuCor’s records showed that aside from the PDLs, only 588 out of 1,682 prisons personnel have been vaccinated.