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Female Prisoners Learn How to Make a Living in Jail
« on: July 21, 2008, 08:35:26 AM »
By Teofilo Garcia

Instead of wasting away precious time while serving their jail terms, women inmates at the Zamboanga City Reformatory Center (ZCRC) here have banded together by making high quality handicrafts and selling them at affordable prices.

From a seed money of P13,000 provided by the government through its Gender and Development (GAD) program, the inmates produced quite a big number of beautiful stuffed toys, dolls with crochet dresses and wallets that the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) is now looking for an outlet to sell these world-class products.

The money was used to buy the needed materials.

ZCRC warden Supt. Ester Pepito said the inmates underwent a livelihood training conducted by the Department of Extension Services of Western Mindanao State University (WMSU), so that when female prisons would finish serving their prison terms, they would become good citizens by earning a decent living.

"They (WMSU personnel) come here every semester to teach or provide livelihood training to out inmates," Pepito said.

She said this is part of the BJMP rehabilitation program.

Initially the plan was to sell the handicraft products in one of the department stores downtown but they were short of funds to pay the space rental.

For the meantime, Pepito said they will open a souvenir shop within the premises of the ZCRC where they will display and sell the handicraft products.

"We can produce as many as we can but the problem right now is we do not have the means to market the products," she said.

Pepito appealed to businessmen who are interested to finance the production of these world-class handicrafts.

The stuffed toys are priced from P80 to P450 each, depending on the size, while wallets and dolls with crochet dresses are pegged at P150 a piece. - PNA

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