TO HELP inmates learn how to market their handmade products by the time they are freed, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Visayas has established a Tech4Ed program inside the Carcar City Jail.
DICT Visayas Cluster 2 Director Leo Cipriano Urbiztondo Jr. said this is to prepare detainees for their reintegration to society as well as to help them maintain a livelihood of their own when they get out of prison.
“We provided logistic support because we wanted to give hope to all stakeholders, even those people deprived of liberty,” he told SunStar Cebu.
Tech4ED stands for Technology for Education to gain employment, train entrepreneurs towards economic development. It aims to “provide access points for individuals and communities to bridge the digital and education divide,” the DICT said in its website.
Through the program, “communities are given access to information, communication, technology, government services, non-formal education, skills training, tele-health, job markets and business portals.”
Urbiztondo said by giving opportunities to the inmates, they would be able to sustain their needs and earn income the right way to feed their families.
Carcar City jail warden chief inspector Dennis Aliño said they have two personnel who will undergo training and who will reecho and train the 369 inmates in alternative learning system, tarpaulin printing, autocad and online courses related to entrepreneurship.
“Of the 368 inmates, 17 are women who will be trained first on how to market our products. So far, we have chicharon, handmade wallets, customized steel plant boxes and even a bakery,” he said.
Aliño said they already have clients especially for their steelworks which are often used in resorts.
“We do have customers since we also post online. There’s even a foreigner who ordered from us,” he said.
Aries Zeta, Tech4Ed coordinator for Central Visayas, said by teaching the inmates how to take advantage of the given technology, they will obtain technical know-how that they can use in the future to earn money through proper means.
“If they will master the process, it will boost their confidence and that’s what we really wanted. The options are there just for them to grab,” he said.