MANILA— The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) in San Juan City has inaugurated a new visitation area in its male dormitory, just as it also showcased its livelihood program for detainees there.
The new visitation area is the first of its kind in BJMP facilities nationwide, BJMP chief Jail Director Allan Iral said on Tuesday.
It was inaugurated in time for the celebration of the National Correctional Consciousness Week.
“Itong ginagawa sa San Juan, ito ay symbolic lamang na inihanda na namin ang aming jail facilities sa buong bansa, 'pag nagkaroon ng easing of restrictions, pwede nang ibalik 'yung dalaw,” Iral said in his speech during the program.
(This is symbolic to prepare our jail facilities nationwide once visitation gets permitted under loosened lockdown restrictions)
“'Pag bakunado na ang majority ng population sa labas, lahat ng PDL (persons deprived of liberty) natin at personnel ay bakunado na rin, bumaba na ang positive cases, i-ease na ang restrictions, maaaring i-resume na ang dalaw,” he added.
(If majority of the population outside is already vaccinated, our PDL and staff are likewise vaccinated, and once the growth of infections further slowed, we might allow visitations)
The new visitation area is fully air-conditioned, with tiled flooring and a wooden accent ceiling with cove lighting.
It is surrounded by an inch-thick tempered glass and is equipped with two-way telephones.
Jail Insp. Jose Marie Sabeniano, BJMP San Juan City's jail warden, said the visitation area is the result of their “Unity Ride for A Cause,” an initiative they held in Feb. 14.
Sabeniano said they raised a total of P170,000 through the event to fund the facility.
He added that once the new visitation area becomes operational, they would require visitors of detainees to have been vaccinated against COVID-19 before coming.
“Dapat may sistema. Most likely, ang mga bibisitang kamag-anak ay may bakuna. Pero ipa-finalize pa natin 'yan. Safe naman ito sa PDL kasi walang chance na pumasok ang virus sa kabila,” Sabeniano said.
(There should be a system. Most likely, those who would visit should be vaccinated. Our PDLs are safe because the virus has no chance of getting through from the other side.)
“We thank all riders who participated in the project. We want to tell you that your advocacy has rebuilt the bridge between the PDLs and their families,” Iral said.
ALL DETAINEES VACCINATED VS COVID-19— MAYOR
San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora, who attended the program, said all detainees and personnel of BJMP San Juan City are fully vaccinated.
“It will provide for a safe visit of the family members of the PDL. Dito sa loob ng San Juan BJMP, lahat ng PDLs ay fully vaccinated na, gayundin ang personnel at organic PDLs. Wala tayong naging kaso pa sa loob ng BJMP San Juan," Zamora told reporters.
(Inside the San Juan BJMP, all PDLs and personnel are fully vaccinated. We did not have any COVID-19 case inside the jail.)
Iral, meanwhile, emphasized that other jails nationwide are preparing and upgrading their facilities in case the national government allows the resumption of limited in-person visits.
“Of the 40 jails sa NCR, 19 na ang facilities ready for non-contact visitation. The others are definitely following suit. Sa ibang regions, pinapaready na namin sila (we are asking them to be ready)," Iral said.
"We hope for them to complete construction at the soonest. Napakalaking inspirasyon ang makita na magkausap ang PDL at kanilang mga mahal sa buhay kahit walang physical contact,” he said.
(It is inspiring to see the PDL and their loved ones communicate even in the absence of physical contact.
The San Juan City jail also launched its “Nakakulong Ngunit Nakakatulong” and “Likha-Laya” projects, which showcased the prisoners’ livelihood products.
These include paintings and drawings, tablet and cellphone holders, wooden alcohol dispensers, plant stands, study tables and Christmas lanterns.
Through these initiatives, authorities were able to raise P500,000 and released two detainees qualified for bail.
“Liveable livelihood. May woodworks, may lanterns, may paintings. Mula rito, nakapagpalaya na tayo ng dalawang preso na qualified at bailable,” Sabeniano said.
(From this project, we were able to release 2 detainees who are qualified and can post bail for their cases.)
“Lahat ng proceeds napupunta sa families ng PDL. Kami mismo ang naghahatid nito,” he added.
(All of the proceeds here are for the families of PDL. We personally hand it over to them.)