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31.34% of 123,848 inmates in BJMP facilities with complete doses vs COVID-19

Kristine Joy Patag - Philstar.com
31.34% of 123,848 inmates in BJMP facilities with complete doses vs COVID-19
This file photo shows Persons Deprived of Liberty under the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology custody.
The STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines (Corrected 6:24 p.m.) — The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology said that 38,811 out of 123,848 persons deprived of liberty under their custody, or 31.34%, have completed their doses against COVID-19.

BJMP spokesperson Xavier Solda in an interview with DZBB said that out of the 123,848 inmates in 472 jails nationwide, 74,730 or roughly 60% of PDL population have received vaccines.

He clarified in a text message that 38,811 have been fully vaccinated, which leaves 35,919 inmates waiting for their second jab.

Solda also said that since the pandemic last year, they confirmed 4,595 cases. Of these, 4,404 have fully recovered, while 72 inmates are currently isolated in their Ligtas COVID Center facilities.

The BJMP spokesperson said they have been coordinating with local government units since the start of the pandemic for vaccination allocation for inmates.

“Sabi nga ng aming chief… ‘yung aming mga regional director ‘wag muna magpahinga. Tuloy-tuloy dapat ang coordination sa local government at ang aming director for health service lagi naka-contact sa national vaccine operation center,” he added.

(Our chief told our regional directors to keep working. Coordination with local government should be continuous and our director for health service should remain in contact with the national vaccine operation center.)

10,000 vaccines promised to BuCor

At the Bureau of Corrections, the vaccination rate is significantly lower with only 3,314 out of roughly 48,000 PDLs having completed their doses against COVID-19.

BuCor, which is under the Department of Justice manages prisons for convicts sentenced to more than three years, while BJMP, under the Department of the Interior and Local Government, is tasked with facilities for those serving less than three sentences and undergoing trial.

Data from BuCor showed that at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City, the country’s main penitentiary, only 1,400 inmates out of 28,499 have received their first dose.

Sablayan Prison and Penal Farm in Occidental Mindoro, Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm in Palawan, Leyte Regional Prison and Davao Prison and Penal Farm have yet to vaccinate any of their inmates.

BuCor spokesperson Gabriel Chaclag in a separate interview with DZBB said they are continuously coordinating with government agencies for the allocation of vaccines for inmates.

“Because of our coordination, the [Department of Health] has promised, has allocated vaccines for PDLs, initially 10,000 [doses] are for releasing, on top of the initiative of the [local government units] allocating vaccines for PDLs,” he added in Filipino.

Chaclag however said they continuously conduct testing for inmates. There are currently more than 20 BuCor personnel that tested positive for COVID-19 and are under isolation. Among inmates, seven active cases are recorded, he added.

Face-to-face visitation meanwhile remains suspended in both BuCor and BJMP facilities.

BUREAU OF CORRECTIONS

BUREAU OF JAIL MANAGEMENT AND PENOLOGY

NEW BILIBID PRISON

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