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June 2024

40 hectares of Iwahig Prison’s land in Palawan planted to hybrid rice — BuCor

About 40 hectares of land in the vast reservation of the Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm (IPPF) in Palawan have been planted to hybrid rice with over 450 more hectares to be devoted to other agricultural and livestock production.

Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Director General Gregorio Pio P. Catapang Jr. said the agricultural and livestock production in IPPF is part of the Reformation Initiative for Sustainable Environment (RISE) project of the government.

Aside from hybrid rice, Catapang said that persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) have also planted vegetables and cashew.

BuCor will utilize 501 hectares of the 28,788-hectare IPPF reservation for the RISE project. A total of 4.5 hectares will be devoted to vegetable growing, 30 hectares for cashew, one hectare for fruit and vegetable herbs as edible landscaping, half a hectare for tilapia growing, 40 hectares for rice, 400 hectares for livestock and dairy production, and 25 hectares for yellow corn production, the bureau said in a statement.

Catapang said the project will also help address the agricultural sector’s concern of aging farmers since the PDLs will be engaged and trained as the country’s future farmers. This will help them live a normal and productive life after reintegration to mainstream society, he said.

“For there will come a time that agricultural produce will be sourced from BuCor lands tilled and farmed by PDLs,” he pointed out.

“Magugulat na lang tayo na yung mga pagkain na nakahain sa ating mga lamesa ay tanim ng mga PDLs at pag nangyari yon ay tataas ang pag tingin natin sa atin mga PDLs dahil hindi na natin sila ituturing na pabigat sa lipunan at pati pag tingin natin sa mga taga BuCor ay mababago (One day you will be surprised that the food served on our tables is grown by PDLs and when that happens, we will change the way we think about PDLs because we will no longer consider them a burden on society, and also the way we look at BuCor will be changed),” he said.

To augment workers in agricultural and livestock production, Catapang said BuCor will transfer an additional 200 PDLs from the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City to IPPF.  More than 1,000 PDLs had been transferred earlier, also as part of the program to decongest NBP, he said.

Catapang also said the participation of IPPF in the RISE project was reported to Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin C. Remulla during the latter’s visit to the penal farm last Friday, Nov. 10.

Remulla was in Palawan when he joined the launch in Puerto Princesa City of the 12th Justice Zone — a project of the Justice Sector Coordinating Council (JSCC) composed of the Supreme Court, the Department of Justice, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government. 

A Justice Zone is a forum where judges, prosecutors, law enforcers and members of local government units meet to discuss problems and iron out solutions to attain an expeditious dispensaion of justice. QR Code

Published Date: November 11, 2023

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