As part of the National Women’s Month celebration, the Quezon City government on Monday launched the “No Woman Left Behind Program” for detainees at the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) Female Dormitory in Camp Karingal.

Dubbed “Women in Prison: Building Equality and Freedom”, the gender responsive program addresses gendered needs of females deprived of liberty (PDL) under the custody of the BJMP.

The launching and the signing of the memorandum of agreement were attended by Mayor Joy Belmonte, Vice Mayor Gian Sotto, the QC Gender and Development (GAD) Council, BJMP officials and representatives from other partners such as the Quezon City Trial Court, Quezon City University, Division of City Schools, QC Police District, and the QC Health Department’s City Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (CESU).

“Malaki ang maitutulong ng programang ito para matugunan ang mga hamon at pangangailangan ng mga babaeng PDL, lalo na sa edukasyon, pangkabuhayan at kalusugan,” said Belmonte.

Belmonte recently approved Ordinance No. SP-3002, S-2021, institutionalizing a comprehensive program for PDLs at the BJMP Female Dormitory.

She said the program hopes to provide all women in the detention facility access to health care, especially mental health services.

“It also seeks to provide them opportunities to continue their studies , capacitate them to be self-sufficient, and help them regain their sense of self-worth,” she said.

It also hopes to address various pressing issues and challenges, such as the high number of drug-related cases among them, congestion in  the detention facilities, over-crowded police precincts, the significant number of recidivists, and lack of access to justice.

As of January 2021, there are 680 women PDLs in the Quezon City Female Dormitory.