April 14, 2024

BANGUED, Abra – Sugarcane pro-ducts such as muscovado, sugarcane wine (basi), balikutsa, and sugarcane juice are usually sold during the trade fairs of Dapil Festival in this capital town. What made this year’s trade fair different is the showcase of various products made by persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) at the Bucay District Jail.

Handcrafted cups and lampshades made out of coconut shells which they made are among the buyers’ favorites.

The coconut cup costs P80 while the handcrafted lampshade costs around P1,000 each depending on the design. There are also various scented candles at P100 per piece. 

Jail Officer Mark Glenn Mamolang said the participation of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology of Bucay helps the PDLs to earn additional income.

“Additional income ng mga inmates ‘yung sales dito at yung mga iba binibigay naman nila sa mga family nila during their visit,” he said.

Mamolang said part of the profit will be allocated for the procurement of raw materials of their products.

He said through BJMP’s partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, various skills trainings were conducted to provide or enhance the skills of the PDLs for livelihood opportunities.

Twenty-six exhi-bitors and Abrenian micro, small, and medium enterprises participated in the trade fair held until Feb. 24.

The trade fair is one of the highlights of the Dapil Festival 2024 with the theme, “Embracing diversity, culture, and connection.”

The homegrown festival is coined from the word “panagdapil” which is the traditional method of extracting sugarcane juice. Sugarcane is one main agricultural products of Abra. – Christian Allister Tubadeza