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By: Aileen Fay M. Villegas

 

Although life behind bars is no joke, inmates and detainees in Malabon City Jail still manage to make the most out of their time by baking.

In April 2015, a livelihood program called “Pandesal for Life” was established specifically for the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) Malabon through the initiative of the first lady of Malabon, Chef Melissa Sison-Oreta. It serves as one of the rehabilitation projects for the inmates of the city jail in order to help them cope with prison life and ultimately, boost their morale and self-worth.

In support of this program, the Department of Science and Technology-National Capital Region, in collaboration with the City Government of Malabon, conducted a Seminar on Food Safety, Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), and Product Costing at the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) Malabon City last May 4, 2017.

Most of the inmates and detainees who attended the seminar are bakers at the Malabon City Jail Bakery. In sum, 20 inmates and detainees and 21 BJMP personnel were given a lecture on Food Safety Awareness by Ms. Aileen Fay M. Villegas, Science Research Specialist II; and a lecture on Basic GMP discussed by Mr. Carlos Antonio M. Peña, Science Research Specialist II and Certified ServSafe Food Protection Manager.

 

The last topic of the seminar was discussed by Ms. Angelina M. Go, former Chief Accountant of DOST Central Office and now consultant at DOST-NCR. She taught the participants how to determine the cost and selling price of their baked goods.

During the workshop on Product Costing, the cooperation among inmates, detainees and BJMP personnel was delightfully observed. The participants were likewise able to prepare and present the costing of some of their baked goods like pandesal, pan de coco, putok, and Spanish bread.

“Gusto natin baguhin ‘yung pagtingin ng mga tao na kapag gawa sa loob ng kulungan ay hindi safe. Nagpapasalamat kami sa DOST dahil simula pa lamang ito upang mabigyan namin kayo ng sapat na skills na maaari niyong magamit kapag nakalabas na kayo dito sa kulungan,” Jail Warden, Supt. Jun Melchor O. Boadilla, said.  He is also looking forward to more engaging services from the Department.

The Malabon City Jail Baking Program is made possible with the collaboration of different government agencies. Preliminary baking tools and ingredients were provided by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) through the City Government of Malabon, and Public Employment Services Office (PESO).

As support to the program, DOST-NCR also conducted a Food Safety Assessment cum Technology Needs Assessment at the baking facility last March 31, 2017. Other projects in the pipeline for Malabon Jail Baking Livelihood include Packaging Development for Products and Upgrading of Existing Production Equipment for Higher Productivity, Efficiency and Compliance to Food Safety.