Jail Inmates Sell Native Abaca Products Online

Get ready to “add to cart” because the Sorsogon City District Jail inmates are selling native abaca products online!

Since last week, the unlikely entrepreneurs have been selling handmade local products on a designated Shopee account as part of the livelihood program of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP). The persons deprived of liberty, or PDLs, earn income from the initiative, which both supports local goods and the holistic formation of PDLs.

Two BJMP PDLs spoke with CNN and said that the initiative has helped them build confidence and sharpened their skills in communicating with other people. They also stated that the income has given them the means to support their family.

The PDLs sell a variety of products, including wallets, accessories, rattan baskets, beaded wall ornaments, beaded bonsai trees, diesel kalan, and made-to-order aluminum and glass works. Prices range from P40 to P950 each, depending on the item.

According to jail officer 1 Sharifa Francia, more products will be introduced soon “by God’s grace.”

“The livelihood program of BJMP has been established for the past years. For instance, basket-making has already been a source of income for most PDL for five years now,” she explained.

As for Sorsogon City District Jail Warden Rodolfo Verzosa, the initiative will remain as a way to help inmates. “Wala po kaming face-to-face na dalaw,” he told CNN. “That’s why kailangan namin tulungan talaga sila para kumita sila.”

(There are no face-to-face visits here. That’s why we really need to help them so they can earn income)

You can check out their products on their Shopee account, bdj_livelihood_products.

Art Daniella Sison

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