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BAGUIO CITY – The local government will be providing equal protection, fair treatment and equal opportunities for employment and livelihood to qualified former persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) who are bonafide residents of the city’s 128 barangays.
Under Resolution No. 555, series of 2021 signed by Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong, local legislators stated that it is right and just for the concerned government agencies and the local government to provide proper and appropriate attention to former PDLs for new hope and better opportunities for themselves and their families for them to be able to hurdle the difficulties of life that had been seriously aggravated by the ongoing Corona Virus Disease (COVID) 2019 pandemic.
The council stipulated that it had been provided under Section 1, Article 3 or the Bill of Rights of the 1987 Constitution that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the law.
Further, the first paragraph of Section 3, Article 13 of the Constitution also provides that the State shall afford full protection to labor, local and overseas, organized and unorganized, and promote full employment and equality of employment opportunities for every Filipino citizen, especially for those who are qualified to be appointed to the position they are applying for.
According to the body, the community, which is recognized as among the pillars of the existing criminal justice system in the country, plays a crucial role in the re-integration of former persons deprived of liberty into the mainstream society by equally assimilating them in employment and other life-sustaining activities for them to be able to help in earning the appropriate income that will help in uplifting their living condition.
The council recognized the fact that former PDLs frequently experience discrimination in terms of employment and livelihood and other related opportunities and activities in their respective communities because of the alleged stigma of having been charged and detained in a jail facility for quite sometime.
The council admitted that the former PDLs had also their struggles in seeking employment and other decent occupation as a result of the various kinds of discrimination that they had encountered which sometimes pull them back to their old activities which tend to affect the prevailing decent peace and order situation of their communities.
The council asserted that the PDLs deserve to be given the appropriate chance and opportunity for them to be able to get back their former jobs for them to be able to sustain their being bread winners for their respective families to pave the way for them to uplift their living condition in the future.
PDLs are often released from detention after they are able to be acquitted from the charges filed against them or they were able to serve their sentences for them to rejoin their families and continue their journey in life.
Instead of being discriminated by the mainstream society, former PDLs deserve to be given a second chance to be able to become productive citizens of the community where they belong by being able to land in productive economic activities.
By Dexter A. See