DOJ wants inmates, detainees included in vaccine recipient list
MANILA, Philippines—Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Tuesday said he would argue for the inclusion of thousands of persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) in the priority list of the government’s vaccination program for COVID-19.
According to Guevarra, the PDLs, or those held by the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, and the seven facilities of the Bureau of Corrections, are currently not on the vaccination list.
“As of now, hindi pa kasama sa priority list ang PDLs (PDLs are not on the priority list),” Guevarra told reporters.
Since PDLs are at higher risk for infection due to cell and prison congestion, the DOJ chief believed that they should be included in the vaccination program.
“The DOJ (Department of Justice) will argue [for their inclusion in the priority list] on the basis of greater COVID risk due to overcrowding,” said Guevarra, who is a member of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).
This week, the National Task Force against COVID-19 will meet, and he hopes to bring up the topic of the PDL vaccination.
The total population of PDLs in facilities in BuCor in February reached 48,238.
By the end of 2020, data from BuCor showed 598 PDLs and BuCor personnel were infected with COVID-19, of which 27 of them died.
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