Justice Minister Menardo Guevarra said Monday he would ask the National Task Force Against Covid-19 to include all detained persons (PDLs) in their three-day mass vaccination program titled “Bayanihan, Bakunahan” as the country now has a steady supply of vaccines.
If approved by the task force, more than 30,000 PDLs can be included in the program.
The Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) data showed that of the 48,689 PDLs in the country’s seven penal arms, only 17,295 PDLs, or 35.52 percent of the population, were vaccinated, mostly the first dose.
Guevarra said he intends to call on Minister Carlito Galvez Jr., the lead implementer of the National Task Force Against Covid-19, to include PDLs incarcerated in penal institutions among the beneficiaries of the government’s planned mass vaccination from November 29th to December 1, 2021.
He added that the PDLs could be included as there were enough vaccines to be used during the planned three-day mass vaccination.
“I understand that we have millions of doses available for this big event, so this is the right time to consider the health of our PDLs, which are at risk of infection due to the overcrowding of prisons,” said Guevarra.
BuCor data also showed that of the 28,516 PDLs in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP), only 10 from the Admission and Diagnostic Center (RDC) were fully vaccinated, while 10,987 PDLs received only the first dose.
On the flip side, 7,955 PDLs, or 99.51 percent of those who are in the intermediate safety zone of the National Bilibid Prison, and 1,402 PDLs, or 88.57 of those who remain in the minimum safety zone, have received their first dose.
None of the convicts in the high security and expansion facility received a single dose of the vaccine.
There are around 17,329 PDLs in the high security complex and 105 PDLs in the expansion facility.
Iwahig Penal Colony in Palawan Province also reported that none of their 2,729 PDLs received a shot.