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DOJ chief seeks inclusion of 30,000 more inmates in three-day inoculation drive

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JUSTICE Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Monday said he would ask the National Task Force Against Covid-19 to include all persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) in its three-day mass vaccination program dubbed as  “Bayanihan, Bakunahan” considering that the country now has a steady supply of vaccines.

If approved by the task force, more than 30,000 PDLs may be included in the program.

Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) data showed that out of the 48,689 total population of PDLs in the seven penal farms in the country, only a total of 17,295 PDLs or 35.52 percent of the population have been inoculated, mostly first dose.

Guevarra said that he intends to ask Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., who is the chief implementer the National Task Force Against Covid-19, to include the PDLs detained in penal farms as among the beneficiaries of the government’s mass vaccination scheduled from November 29 to December 1, 2021.

He added that the PDLs could be accommodated since there would be enough vaccines that would be used during the scheduled three-day mass vaccination.

“I understand that we have millions of doses available for this big event, so this is the opportune time to consider the health of our PDLs who are at risk of infection due to prison overcrowding,” Guevarra said.

BuCor data also showed that of the 28,516 PDLs inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP), only 10 of them from the Reception and Diagnostic Center (RDC) have been fully vaccinated, while 10,987 PDLs have only received the first dose.

On the other hand, 7,955 PDLs or 99.51 percent of those inside the National Bilibid Prison’s medium security compound and 1,402 PDLs or 88.57 of those staying the minimum security compound have received their first dose.

None of the convicts in the maximum security compound and extension facility have received even a single dose of the vaccine.

There are around 17,329 PDLs housed in the maximum security compound and 105 PDLs in the extension facility.

The Iwahig Penal Colony in Palawan province also reported that none of their 2,729 PDLs has received a shot.

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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