Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Conjugal visits for persons deprived of liberty pushed

BAGUIO. A couple inside the Baguio City Jail enjoy their free time. The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology is eyeing to have conjugal rooms for men and women’s dorm as part of a Department of Interior and Local Government circular. (Jean Nicole Cortes)

CONJUGAL visits for Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs) is being pushed in compliance with a government order.

Baguio City jail warden Chief Inspector Crispin Dornagon and Baguio City female jail warden Senior Inspector April Rose Ayangwa faced the City Council Monday, January 21, to inform about the compliance to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) memo, mandating facilities for conjugal visits.

Dornagon said only the male dormitory for PDLs have access to conjugal visits with two rooms utilized, while the female dorm, due to lack of space has none.

The DILG memo states a room for such visits must be set for PDL’s to use complete with beds, ceiling fans, and contraceptives.

This is not to deprive PDLs the biological right for intimacy.

Dornagon, however, said the memo applies to facilities that have space to utilize and in the case of the female dorm, which is cramped as it is, cannot be faulted for its non-compliance.

Dornagon said there are now over 400 occupants in the male dorm, while the female facility has close to 100 occupants.

An approved budget of P500 million has been allotted to the jail from the national government for a relocation of the facility to give more space to the congested male and female dorms.

However, Baguio City has to identify an area for its relocation. A space at the Sto. Tomas area has been identified for the jail but Dornagon said it may be too far and pose a security risk.

Dornagon said the ideal place for the jail is to be close to the Justice Hall to have easy access to court hearings and legal necessities for the PDLs.

Dornagon said if there is no space other than the Sto. Tomas area, adjustments will have to be made.

Last year, Baguio Mayor Mauricio Domogan approved Resolution 184-18, authored by Councilor Lilia Fariñas, requesting the City Planning and Development Office, in coordination with the DILG and the Baguio Bureau of Jail Management and Penology male and female dorms, and the Bureau of Corrections to identify an area within the city for the possibility of constructing two facilities for male and female inmates with drug-related crimes.

The Baguio jail has been put in the limelight for cultural-therapeutic activities for the PDLs.

The female and male dorms have made theatre plays a therapeutic alternative for PDLs to gain confidence and boost their morale. The city jail has already produced two plays where both male and female dormitories have participated led by local director Angelo Aurelio.

Both plays, “The Anatomy of an Octopus woman,” and the “The Black Saturday play or Selda Senakulo,” have gained awards and nominations from the Aliw Awards Foundation.

The female dorm has been awarded as Best Therapeutic Community Implementer and Ayangwa as Best City Jail Warden of the Year in last year’s 2017 Regional Search for BJMP’s Bests.


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