STRINGENT precautionary measures implemented by the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) Davao are seen effective after all its jail facilities in Davao Region remain free from Covid-19 after almost three months of lockdown.
In a virtual presser on Thursday afternoon, June 4, Jail Inspector Edo Lobenia said that none of the persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) inside their 11 jail facilities have been positive for coronavirus disease (Covid-19) since they implemented safety measures against Covid-19 in March.
“The BJMP jails in the Davao Region are still Covid-free, 24/7 we are doing our very best to be able to commit the standard set by the World Health Organization (WHO) at the same time with the Department of Health (DOH) here in Davao City,” Lobenia said Thursday.
Since March when a Covid-19 case was recorded in Davao Region, BJMP Davao has already banned visitors and strictly enforced precautionary measures in different jail facilities.
Lobenia said they installed a screening area for their guests and their personnel on duty. None of their personnel are allowed to return to their respective homes, fearing that they might acquire Covid-19 and become a carrier.
BJMP Davao could not afford to have an infected person as it will pose risk to the PDLs.
Overcrowding is one of the perennial problems inside the detention facilities in Davao Region and the implementation of social distancing may not be possible.
In the region, BJMP Davao currently has a total of 4,427 PDLs as of June 2.
BJMP Davao established a task force and conducted regular health monitoring of the PDLs done by its medical-related staff.
“Our persons deprived of liberty should enjoy the same standard of health care that is available in the community and should have access to necessary health care services free of charge without discrimination on the grounds of their legal status,” Lobenia said.
To maintain its Covid-free status, BJMP Davao distributed surgical face masks to PDLs and conducted regular disinfection and decontamination in their facilities.
“There are lessons that we can get from this pandemic. First, of course, one, this is a wakeup call. Second, we need to think of alternative imprisonment, [and] third, prison health is public health. We need to really work together as one nation to be able to come out stronger against this pandemic,” Lobenia said. (JCR)