A ray of hope shone on the Women Persons Deprived of Liberty (WPDL) from the Tuguegarao City District Jail as they participated in a two-day skills training program on scented candle making and entrepreneurial development conducted by the Department of Trade and Industry R2, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Cagayan Chapter and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) held at Tuguegarao City Jail, Cataggaman Pardo, Tuguegarao City on 28–29 October 2023.

This project, tagged “Hope Behind Bars: A Livelihood Opportunity for Women Persons Deprived of Liberty,” aims to provide empowerment and bright, promising opportunities to the 24 women PDLs who have acquired basic entrepreneurial skills training on scented candle making, and received starter kit packages from the DTI worth Php 37,500.00. Not only does it give them hope, but it also brings them income opportunity, as the variety of candles have been sold in the run-up to All Soul’s Day, and will be offered to the market very soon.

“We firmly believe that empowering women behind bars is an essential part of the rehabilitation process,” said Atty. Girlie Mei Cuntapay, Chairman of the IBP-Cagayan Gender and Development Committee.

On the other hand, Atty. Michael B. Paggabao, DTIR2-SMEDD OIC-Chief and IBP’s Community Relation Officer and Project Director, emphasized the prospect of turning this livelihood opportunity as a beacon for their reintegration and expressed the agency’s continuous support to sustain this development.

Officer-in-Charge SJO4 Clara Edena Laggui commended the effort of the DTI and IBP, and shared her excitement to what the future holds for the women PDLs.

The PDLs were also provided with entrepreneurial development training by Ms. Shaina Barrera of NC Tuguegarao City, aside from the hands-on scented candle production that was facilitated by Mr. Dante Miravel, Production Manager of Guibang Candle Making Association.

Meanwhile, the DTI R2, IBP, and BJMP will continue their strong commitment as part of the whole-of-nation approach to provide the PDLs with a package of assistance that will enable them to restore their self-confidence and establish sustainable livelihood ventures towards their reintegration into society.

The scented candles are available in different designs, sizes, and colors, with prices ranging from P15.00 each to P80.00 per pack. For pre-orders, you may reach Ms. Jenelyn Cureg at 09752921662 or at JenelynCureg.dtir2@gmail.com, or you may visit the City District Jail at Cataggaman Pardo, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan.

Date of release: 15 November 2023