Pulong introduces legislation to transform inmates into agricultural workers

Davao City Rep. Paolo Duterte pushes for agricultural program for prisoners

Davao City 1st district Rep. Paolo Duterte has filed House Bill (HB) No.3541, which proposes the implementation of agricultural livelihood programs for prisoners in penal institutions with suitable areas for agriculture.

The bill, which is currently pending before the House Committee on Justice, aims to provide agricultural training for Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs) in penal institutions that have enough space to cultivate food crops.

Duterte emphasized that the practice would help offset the minimal budget allocation for inmate meals and ensure that they have enough healthy food for their daily needs. Additionally, surplus produce from the program can be sold to augment the penal institution’s budget for the benefit of PDLs.

The participation in the planting program would be based on criteria determined by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and is voluntary for the PDLs.

Duterte cited the farming initiative at the Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm in Palawan, which benefits around 500 PDLs, as an example that could be replicated in other penal institutions across the country.

Under the proposed measure, the Department of Agriculture (DA) would supply the necessary seeds, fertilizers, equipment, and technology for the agricultural livelihood program, as well as provide technical support and advice for prison personnel.

The excess produce from the program will be sold, and the profits gained would be credited to the Prison Agricultural Revolving Fund. PDLs participating in the program would be paid the minimum wage rate prevailing in the area where the penal facility is located and given dividends from the fund collection.

The funds collected will also be used to improve the penal facility and as a start-up fund for the succeeding year.

Leave a Reply