201 PDLs from Cebu City Jail Male Dormitory graduate from ALS
CEBU CITY, Philippines – A total of 201 persons deprived of liberty (PDL) finished elementary and junior high school through the government’s Alternative Learning System (ALS) while detained at the male dormitory of the Cebu City Jail in Barangay Kalunasan.
The graduates had their opportunity to wear white togas and cap as they received their diplomas during the graduation and moving up ceremonies held on Thursday, August 10, 2023.
One of the graduates was accompanied by his father during the graduation march.
Parents and family members clapped while others cheered as the names of their respective graduates were called up on stage to receive his diploma.
Rizza, 38, was a proud mother after her son graduated from junior high school.
“Dako akong kalipay nga nigraduate na akong anak. Diri ra jud siya nakalampos,” a teary-eyed Rizza told CDN Digital.
Another mother, Salome, 53, said she is very grateful that her son was given a chance to finish junior high school, an opportunity to a better life when he is released from detention.
“Nalipay ko. Nagpasalamat jud ko sa Ginoo,” she said.
As of this writing, there are a total of 5,422 PDLs at city jail’s male in the dormitory, of which 201 graduated from ALS this school year. Among them, 62 finished elementary while 139 completed junior high school.
Just like the proud parents and family members, who came to witness the graduation ceremony, Jail Chief Superintendent Neil Avisado, director of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology in Central Visayas (BJMP-7), became emotional when he delivered his message.
He also praised the graduates for their hard work as they comply with the requirements set by the Department of Education (DepEd) in its ALS program.
“Iba kasi yung fight nila dito sa loob. Yung challenges, sobra. Nasa isang limited na space sila tapos limited hours pero they can still learn, as what the outside world can offer,” he told reporters in an interview that followed.
Avisado said the ALS program has been helping prepare PDLs for their reintegration into society.
“As per record, we have so many PDL before na naging successful naman sa buhay nila. Bumalik sila, nagpapasalamat,” he said.
“At hindi rin mawawala yung minsan ay meron pa ring bumalik [sa kulongan]. Pero karamihan talaga sa nabigyan namin ng ganitong serbisyo dito sa loob ay nagpupunyagi naman at naging successful naman paglabas nila dito sa acting facility,” he added.
In addition to the ALS, Avisado said, they also have other programs in place, in partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), to help PDLs find employment after they are released from jail.
“At the same time meron din making mga other livelihood programs or other skills enhancement program na binigay para maging produktibo. After release nila ay mabigyan sila ng todo na preparasyon dito pa lang para maharap nila yung kung ano man yung challenges sa labas,” Avisado added. | with Mary Godinez, CTU Intern
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