INMATES are reportedly having difficulty in accessing capital funding to support their small businesses and livelihood activities inside jails in Davao region.
“The government cannot really shell out [extra funding] because the budget intended for them is enough for food, clothing, and hygiene materials. But through livelihood programs, nakakakuha sila ng funding for themselves,” Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP)-Davao Jail Inspector Helen Rose Saragena said during SM City Kapehan media forum Monday, July 29.
She said each inmate is only allotted with P70 per day.
Aside from trainings from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), she said there were also private groups and enterprises conducting outreach programs that assist inmates in starting up a business.
Eighty-three percent of the total population or more than 5,000 inmates of the BJMP in the region have ventured into livelihood activities, where 20 percent are female inmates involved in bag-making, bayong-making, painting, among others.
“Hindi pa nag-adopt ang local government sa program. But nagbibigay sila ng opportunities, like bazaar, to help the PDLs (persons deprived of liberty) expand their market, para marami ang mag order,” Saragena said.
This coming August 2 to 4, in celebration of their anniversary, the BJMP-Davao will showcase the livelihood products of the inmates from the 11 jails in the region at the SM City Davao Annex.
“Though we have small quantity of PDL products to be displayed, we can ensure its quality,” she said.
Saragena reiterated the importance of livelihood activities for the inmates to support their families outside, especially if the inmate is the breadwinner.
However, another prevailing problem of the inmates is the market access since they only rely on jail visitors, dignitaries, and private individuals to buy their products.
She said they considered online selling before, but it never worked. So they wanted the products be made known to the public first so that it will be appreciated by the buyers.