Our typical traditional Filipino culture during Holy Week observance taught us to preferably stay at home and do some personal reflections or practice family devotion. With the advent of the global COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Holy Week observance have given people more than enough reason to stay at home and practice social distancing to help the spread of the virus as community quarantine were imposed in most parts of the country.
However, one of the effects of this community quarantine have affected thousands of Filipinos, especially the marginalized sectors who have less or no access at all to basic needs such as food and other essential needs. Since the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) pronouncement of the City of Zamboanga effective March 20, 2020, Zamboanga City Jail inmates are among those affected because visits and extension of personal provisions to the inmates are prohibited during these difficult times.
Seeing an avenue to extend assistance, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office No. IX (MGB-IX), through the leadership of newly installed OIC-Regional Director, Engr. Hernani G. Abdon, have identified the female inmates of the Zamboanga City Jail Female Dormitory as its beneficiaries. This modest gesture is an initiative of the Regional GAD Focal Point System, in partnership with the MGB Employee’s Association (MGBEA) with the objective of collecting resources needed to purchase basic necessities. The combined amount that was raised plus personal pledges of some MGB9 personnel, amounted to Twenty-Five Thousand Pesos (Php 25,000.00) in total. This amount was used to purchase personal hygiene items for the 391 female inmates and food snack items to an estimated 120 staff of Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) who are front liners on duty. MGB-IX personnel led by RD Abdon have turned-over these items to BJMP yesterday, April 9, 2020, while observing Maundy Thursday.
City Jail Warden for Female Dormitory JSINSP April Joy Bueco, extended her heartfelt gratitude for this unexpected gesture from MGB-IX through a text message.
This activity was also in support to Republic Act No. 11469, otherwise known as the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act”, which was signed into law by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte last March 24, 2020.