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BJMP-7 highlights PDLs' developmental opportunities

JSupt. Thomas Augustine Catarata or Fr. Tom, Chief of Community Relations Service Section and Regional Chaplain of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP7) during the Kapihan sa PIA on August 30.

CEBU CITY, Cebu, Aug. 30 (PIA) – The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP-7) recently marked its 32nd anniversary with a series of activities highlighting the talents of the persons deprived of liberty (PDL) in the region.

“Ang prisohan dili basurahan sa mga sagbot sa katilingban (The prison is not a garbage dump for those who are considered as trash in the society),” said Jail Supt. Thomas Augustine Catarata, BJMP-7 chief of Community Relations Service Section and regional chaplain during the Kapihan sa PIA on Aug. 30.

Catarata said the BJMP, whose mandate is the safekeeping and the development of PDLs, hold a crucial role in the supervision of the PDLS to ensure the safety of the public once the PDLs go back to the society.

He shared that BJMP strives to keep the dignity of a person despite imprisonment.

Catarata shared that the bureau recently held an Alternative Learning School Graduation for Junior High School, where a 52-year old PDL graduated.

“Ang prisohan eskwelahan, dili basurahan (Prisons can also be schools, and not a garbage dump),”  emphasized Catarata.

Currently, there are 19,042 PDLs in Central Visayas.

Role of community

As part of the five pillars of the criminal justice system namely, law enforcement, prosecution, judiciary, penology, and the community, Catarata stressed the important role of the community in the transformation of former PDLs.

“The Technical Skills and Development Authority, Department of Education, Department of Health, churches, and stakeholders are all involved in fostering developmental opportunities for PDLs. But communities should help to end the social stigma towards them,” he said.

The BJMP has been trying to also secure a formal agreement with business establishments for the employment of the released PDLs who have undergone skills trainings.

Anchored on the 32nd Anniversary theme “Serbisyong Makatao, May Integridad at Matatag tungo sa progresibong komunidad,” the agency will hold several activities from August 31 to September 7.

Product display

One of highlights of the bureau’s anniversary is the PDL’s livelihood product display at the Pacific Mall in Mandaue from Aug. 31 to Sept. 6.

The display showcased handicrafts, bags, wood-carvings, and trinkets.

BJMP personnel also joined a blood-letting program in partnership with the Department of Health and a gift-giving activity at Hospicio San Jose De Barili, the first home for the aged in Cebu. (MYP/PIA7 Cebu)

About the Author

Myrtle Pasigan

Information Officer

Region 7

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