A total of 40,875 out of the 123,499 Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) were injected with full doses of the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) vaccines, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) disclosed on Sunday, Oct. 24.
The number accounts for 33 percent fully vaccinated BJMP inmates with 75,970 PDLs or 61.5 percent getting their first doses.
“Protecting the PDLs through vaccination is at the heart of the BJMP mandate to safekeep and ensure their welfare. We remain committed to this with more than 60 percent of the PDL population already given their first dose of COVID-19 jabs,” DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año said.
Año noted “that everyone deserves to be protected against COVID-19 and this goes the same for PDLs who were never considered by the DILG as second-class citizens just because they are detained.’’
The BJMP is an attached agency of the DILG.
“As part of our commitment, we will not stop until all the PDLs detained in BJMP-supervised jails have been fully vaccinated,” he added.
Año disclosed that this brings the total number of vaccine doses administered by the BJMP to the PDLs to 116,845 in the 472 district, city, and municipal jails nationwide as of Oct. 20.
The DILG chief added that the BJMP Regional Offices with the highest percentage of fully vaccinated PDLs are Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) with 98.28 percent (1,084 out of 1,103 PDLs); Region 10 with 55.73 percent ( 3,049 out of 5,471 PDLs) and Region V with 50.46 percent (1,577 out of 3,125 PDLs).
Aside from ensuring the PDLs’ welfare, Año noted “that among the 18,801 BJMP personnel, 84.48 percent or 15,883 personnel have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine while 81.44 percent or 15,311 have received the second dose or fully vaccinated for a total of 31,194 doses administered.’’
BJMP Regional Offices 1, 9 and 11 have equally reached 93 percent full dose vaccination of their workforce as of Oct. 20.
Año assured the public that the DILG and BJMP are in constant coordination with the Department of Health (DOH) and local government units (LGUs) for vaccine allocation to ensure the welfare and protection of PDLs and BJMP uniformed personnel.
“With the increased supply of vaccines, LGUs can now provide more vaccines to jails in their jurisdiction so we can now complete the vaccination of our PDLs and BJMP personnel,” he said.
Meanwhile, DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan E. Malaya said that the BJMP has also rolled out influenza and pneumococcal vaccines in jail facilities, as part of its strategies to boost the health of PDLs and jail officers.
As of September 2021, 79,387 PDLs have received their flu vaccines while 3,812 got their pneumococcal vaccines.
Among the BJMP personnel, 6,699 have already received their flu vaccines while 530 have been injected with their pneumococcal vaccines.
To prevent COVID-19 transmission in jail facilities as the vaccination program continues, Malaya said that face-to-face visitation in BJMP jail facilities remains suspended.
In place of this, e-services such as e-Dalaw, Telehearing, e-Jail Inspection or Monitoring, e-Learning, e-Kumustahan tele-hearing are implemented in jail facilities. (Chito A. Chavez)