The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) in Albay Province has extended its partnership with 3 agrarian reform beneficiaries organizations (ARBOs) for the supply of agricultural products to provide the food and nutritional requirements to inmates housed in nine jail dormitories in the province.
The renewal of the marketing contracts came following the successful partnerships last year under the Enhanced Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (EPAHP) program being implemented by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).
The marketing contracts were signed between the Association of Women and Men of Gabawan (AWMG) in Daraga, South Quinale Irrigators Association (SQIA) in Libon, Panganiran Irrigators Association (PIA) in Pio Duran, and the BJMP.
The said ARBOs will supply jail dormitories with their agricultural products, which include fresh vegetables and fruits, and poultry products. The jail dormitories include Tabaco City District Jail, Sto. Domingo District Jail, Legazpi City Jail, Camalig District Jail, Guinobatan Municipal Jail, Ligao City Jail, Oas Municipal Jail, Pio Duran Municipal Jail, and Polangui District Jail.
Maria Eugenia M. Alteza, Albay agrarian reform head, said this would be the third year of partnership between the three ARBOs and BJMP. The first MOA was implemented last April 20, 2021, and was renewed on December 3, 2021.
Through this partnership, the ARBOs gained a total of P32,992.50. Through the second MOA, they were able to accumulate an income totaling P367,597.
Alteza said that as of February this year, the ARBOs have already generated an income of P50,806.
DAR Bicol Regional Director Reuben Theodore C. Sindac said the ARBOs have been successful in providing quality food products to the BJMP, ensuring that the inmates receive a balanced and nutritious diet.
“We are pleased to see the continued success of the ARBOs in providing food and nutritional requirements to the BJMP. This partnership is a great example of how collaboration and cooperation can make a real difference in the lives of people who need it most,” said Sindac.
Sindac said this kind of partnership is beneficial to the ARBOs, as it provides them with a steady and reliable market for their products. By working with the BJMP, the farmers’ organizations can develop their farms and increase their income, which in turn helps to improve the standard of living of their families.
Ramil S. Vestra, assistant regional director of administration for BJMP Bicol, thanked DAR for continuing to provide programs that help persons deprived of liberty (PDLs).
“Because of this program, we are happy to inform you that there are no more PDLs who are hungry,” said Vestra.
With the steady increase in sales, Evangeline Casais of SQIA noted that the agreement has been of great help to them, particularly the women farmers.
She said that most of the orders they received from BJMP were for vegetables grown mostly by women, thus empowering them in marketing and negotiations with other farmers.
The EPAHP program has been instrumental in facilitating partnerships between government entities and farmers’ organizations, allowing them to work together towards a common goal of reducing hunger and poverty in the region.