The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) said on Monday, Oct. 25, that it has recorded low coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) jail cases and high vaccination rate among its persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) in the past six months.
BJMP spokesperson Chief Inspector Xavier Solda said that the figures mark this year’s National Correctional Consciousness Week (NACOCOW) celebration with the theme “Magkaisa, Magtulungan, Magdamayan, COVID-19 ay Labanan (Unite, Work Together, Help One Another, Fight COVID-19).”
“We have 50 active COVID-19 cases remaining in our jails from 387 cases in April and we hope to end the year with zero cases and all those who got infected to fully recover”, Solda said.
“Our colleagues in the field, particularly our jail wardens and health personnel, are relentless in putting all efforts to manage the health situation in our jails effectively,’’ he added.
Since last year, 4,610 BJMP PDLs got the virus with 4,441 having fully recovered while 50 other infected PDLs with comorbidities died.
“We will continue to monitor the health of our PDL, especially those who have pre-existing medical conditions,” he added.
Aside from health and security strategies in place sa aming mga jail facilities, Solda noted that “we also included flu vaccines and pneumococcal vaccines for our PDL for added protection.’’
Solda also pointed out that 81,272 PDLs were inoculated with flu vaccines while 3,812 got injected with the pneumococcal vaccines.
In his message during the kick-off activity on Oct. 24, BJMP chief Jail Director Allan S Iral reminded all jail personnel “to live in a servant’s perspective.’’
“Our divine purpose has to do with leading the lost to the right way, the least towards restoring worth, and the last not to be taken for granted. Jail or prison works require not just our presence, our divine focus has to do with leading the lost to the right way, the least toward restoring work, and the last not to be taken for granted,” said Iral.
Under Proclamation 551 signed on March 15, 1995 by then President Fidel Ramos, the last week of October is declared as National Correctional Consciousness Week.
Based on the current jail population of 123,613 in 472 district, city, and municipal jails nationwide, Solda disclosed that a total of 87,043 PDLs were administered with the COVID-19 vaccines with 43,841 getting full doses.
Since the vaccine roll-out, Solda said that the BJMP has included the PDLs in its vaccination requests to the Department of Health (DOH) and the local government units (LGUs).
“Noong una pa lamang, isinabay na po natin sila (PDLs) sa (vaccination) request natin and patuloy nating ipinaliliwanag ang kahagalagahan na maisama po sila sa mababakunahan (From the beginning, we already included the PDLs in our request and we have relentlessly explained the importance to have them in the vaccination roster),’’ Solda maintained. (Chito A. Chavez)