Senator Richard Gordon proposed the use of penal labor, enabling prisoners to become productive members of society by providing their services in exchange for wages while incarcerated.
The senator asked the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) to allocate a budget that will allow prisoners to work while they are still imprisoned. This penal labor agreement will became part of their reformation upon being reintegrated back into society.
During the Senate hearing on the budget for the Department of Justice, Senator Gordon suggested that prisoners who have almost completed their sentence could work on government-funded infrastructure projects.
These projects include tree planting activities, river cleaning operations, and vegetable farming, where inmates can help improve the country's agricultural production.
Prisoners who’d work for the government would be given an allowance in exchange for their labor.
Sen. Gordon said during the hearing that, “They could plant trees on denuded mountains so that floods could be prevented. They could also desilt rivers or they could fix damaged irrigation canals or systems to improve crop production in the country. They could be given allowances for the community work."
“This way, the inmates are provided an occupation in preparation for their reintegration into society. At the same time, we can also start the reforestation of our mountains and prevent floods, especially in Central Luzon,” he added.
He even praised BuCor Ret. PC/Supt Rolando Asuncion. The BuCor officer-in-charge said that Samsung Electronics was interested in hiring prisoners as workers in their production line.
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