The Iwahig Corrections Facility (ICF) has received assorted medical and personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies from the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) to ensure the protection of correctional officers and persons deprived of liberty (PDL) against COVID-19.
ICF information officer CTO II Levi Evangelista said Thursday that the supplies were sent for the use of 280 correctional officers and 2, 806 PDLs within four sub-colonies.
“Na-pending, kasi ang hirap ng transportation then nakakuha kami kay 2GO. Dini-distribute na namin sa apat na kolonya at sa PDLs. Precautionary measures pa rin para maiwasan ang pagpasok ng COVID,” he said.
The PPE supplies received were 10,000 pieces of surgical face masks (3 ply); 4,000 pieces of N95 masks; 10 pieces thermal scanner; 6 sets STIHL misting machine blowers with three bottles disinfectant tablets; 50 sets of disposable long-sleeve gown and eye goggles; 50 boxes disposable gloves; 2,802 pieces of salt therapy salt; 31,800 Vitamin C; and 20 containers (130 gallons) of alcohol.
The shipment through Manila to Puerto Princesa was delivered through the help of the Office of the Civil Defense (Central and MIMAROPA Office), Philippine Coast Guard, and crew and staff of M/V St. Augustine – 2Go.
“Enough na ‘yan, actually ay in addition lang yan sa nauna namin na-purchase. Continuous, hindi napuputol ang aming precautionary measures to hold nga ang pagpasok ng COVID. Iyan ay support from the national headquarters,” he said.
He said that with the extended quarantine, the management of ICF implemented the locked-in of 280 prison employees to prevent them from being the possible carriers of the virus through going in and out of the ICF premises.
“We are not authorize na lumabas ng premises ng IPPF kasi ang purpose niyan ay ang PDLs namin ay intact sa loob. Definitely di sila magkaka-virus, ang presumption ng aming head ay kami na employees na lumalabas at mag-duty sa loob ay kami ang possible carriers,” Evangelista said.
“We are only allowed to go out once a week pero babalik din kami within the day. Kailangan namin bumalik sa station namin, lalabas lang kami para kumuha ng supplies, bumili ng pagkain namin,” he added.
Evangelista also believed that prisons could be ticking bombs of COVID-19 even with one positive case if the security of PDLs from the virus will not be assured.
To lessen the interaction of PDLs from those outside the premises of the prison, the ICF management temporarily suspended the visiting privileges of PDLs.
The management has also conducted disinfection within the four sub-colonies of Sta. Lucia, Iwahig, Montible, and Inagawan.
“Ina-assure namin yong families ng PDLs na ang IPPF ay doing its best to protect yong ating PDLs and the national headquarters ay nagpapadala ng additional na ayuda sa amin para safe ang prison facilities kaya huwag sila mag-alala,” he said.
Evangelista said that ICF is confident with the precautionary measures they are implementing and that the prison institution will stay COVID- free.