The Department of Social Welfare and Development – Field Office Cordillera Administrative Region (DSWD FO CAR) and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology Cordillera Administrative Region (BJMP CAR) have launched a groundbreaking initiative to provide skills training and livelihood opportunities to persons deprived of liberty (PDLs). The partnership, formalized through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), aims to support inmates’ reintegration into society by equipping them with marketable skills and facilitating income-generating activities.

The initiative, titled “RISE (Restoring Independence and Securing Empowerment) PDL”, seeks to promote equality and non-discrimination for PDLs by providing them with necessary skills for productive activities. It aims to establish partnerships with public and private entities to create employment opportunities, and address stigma and discrimination in the job market. Additionally, the project focuses on fostering social inclusion by enabling PDLs to contribute to their communities.

Key elements of the partnership include capacity building and livelihood assistance. DSWD will be responsible in assessing the eligibility of participants and provide necessary resources, while the BJMP will endorse participants and assist in disseminating information. Skills training programs such as Micro-Enterprise Development Skills Training (MEDT) and Basic Employment Skills Training (BEST) will be offered within correctional facilities. Furthermore, the initiative will connect PDLs to platforms where they can showcase and sell their products, enhancing their market access.

 “For years, we have been working with the BJMP and we are just formalizing it through this Memorandum of Agreement. Let us try to give all the help that we could give for these people, the persons deprived of liberty, so that they can improve their life and even to extend the help to their family outside the facility.” DSWD CAR Regional Director Maria C. Aplaten on her message during the MOA Signing held at Orchard Hotel, Baguio City on 17 May 2024. 

In his message, BJMP CAR Regional Director JSSUPT. Atty. Kenneth A. Bid-ing also expressed his gratitude for the said program and ensures that the Bureau will continuously support DSWD towards its common objective, which is public service. The program is set to remain in effect until 30 December 2025, with the possibility of renewal.#DSWD-CAR, Jezebel L. Gumatay, SLP Social Marketing Officer 

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