THE Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has ramped up the vaccination of Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs) as 61.5% or a total of 75,970 of the 123,499 PDLs in jail facilities run by the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) have already received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccines, while 33% or 40,875 already completed their second dose or are fully vaccinated.
“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% of the PDL population already given their first dose of COVID-19 jabs,” DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año said.
Año said 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.
“As part of our commitment, we will not stop until all the PDLs detained in BJMP-supervised jails have been fully vaccinated,” Año said.
He said that this brings the total number of vaccine doses administered by the BJMP to PDLs to 116,845 in the 472 district, city, and municipal jails nationwide under the DILG-BJMP as of October 20.
He said the BJMP Regional Offices with the highest percentage of fully vaccinated PDLs are Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) with 98.28% or 1,084 out of 1,103 PDLs; Region 10 with 55.73% or 3,049 out of 5,471 PDLs; and Region V with 50.46% or 1,577 out of 3,125 PDLs as of October 20, 2021.
Aside from ensuring the PDLs’ welfare, the DILG Chief said that among the 18,801 BJMP personnel, 84.48% or 15,883 personnel have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 81.44% or 15,311 have received the second dose or fully vaccinated for a total of 31,194 doses administered.
Three BJMP Regional Offices have equally reached 93% full dose vaccination of their workforce as of October 20, 2021. These are Regions I, IX, and XI.
Año assured the public that the DILG and BJMP are in constant coordination with the 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.
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 have received their pneumococcal vaccines.
Among the BJMP personnel, 6,699 have already received their flu vaccines, while 530 have received their pneumococcal vaccines.
“Batid po natin na ang ating mga PDLs at jail officers ay high risk sa COVID-19, lalo pa’t alam nating lahat na limitado lang ang espasyo sa ating mga piitan, kaya nararapat lang po na mabigyan sila ng sapat na proteksyon mula sa COVID-19 at pati na rin sa ibang sakit,” he said.
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 telehearing are implemented in jail facilities.