BJMP says 91% of PDLs under its care now vaccinated vs COVID-19
MANILA, Philippines — Some 114,570 of the 125,082 persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) under the care of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) have already been vaccinated against COVID-19.
This number, according to BJMP on Monday, represents 91% of the total PDL population in all of its facilities across the country.
The BJMP data indicated that as of November 21, those who have received full doses of the COVID-19 vaccines were 76,084 PDLs while 38,486 have received first doses.
According to BJMP chief Jail Director Allan Iral, they are doing everything they can to ensure that PDLs are prioritized in the government’s vaccination program.
“We are continuously exerting efforts to ensure that all PDL under our care will be vaccinated,” Iral said in a statement.
“Since the start of the vaccine roll-out, we made sure that our PDL will remain as one of the government’s top priorities considering the level of risk of infection being in a closed space,” he added.
Among the top-performing regional offices of BJMP include the Bicol Region with all of its PDLs already inoculated as only 3.71 percent of its jail population were waiting for their second dose.
Meanwhile, BJMP’s office in the Ilocos Region posted a 99.84 percent vaccination rate while its Central Luzon office registered 99.83 percent; Zamboanga Peninsula, 98.68 percent; and Cagayan Valley, 98.66 percent vaccinate rates.
“Aside from COVID-19 vaccines, 85,816 PDLs were also given flu vaccine shots while 3,901 received pneumococcal vaccines,” the BJMP said.
Iral thanked the National COVID-19 Vaccine Operations Center and the Department of the Interior and Local Government for helping them in achieving the feat, and for urging local government units to include PDLs in their respective jurisdictions for the vaccine rollout.
“Dahil sa pagtutulungan ng mga ahensiya at opisina ng ating pamahalaan upang maprotektahan ang ating mga PDL mula sa COVID-19, konti na lamang po at malapit na nating maabot ang 100% vaccination rate sa ating mga kulungan na under ng BJMP,” Iral noted.
(Because of the coordinated efforts of agencies and offices of our government to protect PDLs from COVID-19, we are just a few vaccines away from fully vaccinating people inside our detention facilities under the BJMP.)
“We are hoping, through the support of our partners and the concerned government agencies, we could hit 100% vaccination rate in all district, city, and municipal jails across the country before the year ends,” he added.
At the start of the pandemic in 2020, there were fears that COVID-19 may spread in jails and detention facilities under the BJMP and Bureau of Corrections, considering the high congestion rates — which are conducive for viral transmissions.
The pandemic has forced both the BJMP and Bureau of Corrections to release several inmates to protect them from possible infection.
However, there have been constant efforts from BJMP to reduce the congestion rates while protecting PDLs from COVID-19 — from temporarily suspending physical visitations and imposing so-called online visitations or e-dalaw instead, as well as setting up more facilities to make jails more habitable.
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