June 21, 2024

The Department of Social Welfare and Development-Cordillera and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology Cordillera have launched a groundbreaking initiative to provide skills training and livelihood opportunities to persons deprived of liberty (PDLs).

The partnership, formalized through a memorandum of agreement, aims to support inmates’ reintegration into society by equipping them with marketable skills and facilitating income-generating activities.

The initiative, titled “Restoring Independence and Securing Empowerment (RISE) PDL”, seeks to promote equality and non-discrimination for PDLs by providing them with necessary skills for productive activities.

It aims to establish partnerships with public and private entities to create employment opportunities, and address stigma and discrimination in the job market.

The project also focuses on fostering social inclusion by enabling PDLs to contribute to their communities.

Key elements of the partnership are capacity building and livelihood assistance.

DSWD will be responsible in assessing the eligibility of participants and providing necessary resources, while the BJMP will endorse participants and assist in disseminating information.

Skills training programs such as micro-enterprise development skills training and basic employment skills training will be offered within correctional facilities.

The initiative will also connect PDLs to platforms where they can showcase and sell their products, enhancing their market access.

“For years, we have been working with the BJMP and we are just formalizing it through this MOA. Let us try to give all the help that we could give for these people, the PDLs, so they can improve their life and even extend the help to their family outside the facility,” DSWD-Cordillera Director Maria C. Aplaten said during the MOA signing held at Orchard Hotel, Baguio City on May 17.

BJMP-Cordillera Director, Supt. Atty. Kenneth A. Bid-ing, also expressed his gratitude for the program and ensured the bureau will continuously support DSWD towards a common objective, which is public service.

The program is in effect until Dec. 30, 2025, with the possibility of renewal. – Jezebel L. Gumatay