Prelate says inmates should not be left behind amid Covid-19 vaccination

Published November 25, 2021, 4:26 PM

by Leslie Ann Aquino

The head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Episcopal Commission on Prison Pastoral Care said people living in prisons should not be neglected as COVID-19 vaccination program roll out across the country.

Bishop Joel Baylon (Photo courtesy Diocese of Legazpi)

“They must be guaranteed protection and safety from the COVID-19 virus, like the rest of the country,” Legazpi Bishop Joel Baylon said in a CBCP News post.

The prelate, meantime, welcomed the report that 91 percent of persons deprived of liberty in detention centers under the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology are now vaccinated.

Baylon also noted that a similar effort is already being done by the Bureau of Corrections in their respective facilities, “albeit for a still smaller percentage of PDLs”.

“We hope and pray that these urgent and necessary responses in behalf of our brothers and sisters in the various detention facilities all over the country – including the centers for children in conflict with the law – will guarantee that they will not be left behind or taken for granted,” he said.

Data shows that there are over 48,000 convicted inmates imprisoned in BuCor prisons and about 117,000 PDLs are detained in various district, city, and municipal jails under the BJMP.