So far and yet so near: Loved ones just a call away for jailed women

January 04, 2020

FOR only one peso per minute, detainees who are serving sentences at the Correctional Institution for Women (CIW) in Mandaluyong City can now talk with their loved ones even every day from Tuesday to Sunday.

Newly-installed CIW Superintendent Angelina Bautista yesterday said that immediately after her assumption last November, she launched the “Boses Mo, Lakas Ko,” program that will give smiles to the 3,381 inmates under her care especially on special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries and the just concluded Christmas and New Year holidays among others.

Housed at a small portion of the facility, the “Call Center” has 10 telephone booths for the maximum detainees and five for the medium and minimum inmates who are all allotted five minutes for each call from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

“Sa ganitong paraan, ay natutulungan natin ang bawat PDL (person deprived of liberty) na nakakaramdam ng depression sa buhay or boredom lalo na dun sa mga walang dalaw,” Bautista told People’s Journal.

Since cell phones are prohibited inside the correctional building, Bautista said the “call center” is one way to make the convicted detainees while away and enjoy their time through however limited talking and knowing how their beloved relatives and family are doing.

Studies show that depression and boredom are the two usual problems of PDLs as they count their days and years of detention from the time they were convicted and sentenced up to the time they get their freedom or release.

This is the reason, according to Bautista, why every detention management be it the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) or the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), make PDLs busy and active through programs in livelihood, educational or any others.  

“Lalo na yung mga PDLs na ang kamag-anak o pamilya ay tawid-dagat na hindi or minsanan lang makadalaw, sa pamamagitan na lang talaga ng telepono sila nakakapag-kumustahan,” the CIW chief said.

However, Bautista said she has to tap an operator to each telephone booth where their conversations are monitored to avoid “underground” deals if there are any.

The program only allows outgoing calls for five minutes per PDL courtesy of Smart communication which is available to all networks.

Moreover, the CIW has also introduced E-Burol and E-Dalaw for relatives who would find it hard to pay their last respects if ever a convicted PDL dies and those who are no longer capable of making a visit.