TACLOBAN CITY-Joyce, who was jailed recently, has discovered a path to redemption and societal reintegration.

This is because she and 30 other probationers and parolees from the Department of Justice-Parole and Probation Administration (DOJ-PPA) have been granted an opportunity to play a significant role in preserving a heritage site in Eastern Visayas.

The DOJ-PPA has taken a stride by linking up with the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in the ‘Adopt a Heritage Site’ initiative. This special project is a testament to the power of collaboration, aiming to engage individuals like Joyce in the noble task of preserving our cultural heritage through community services.

Sheree Ann G. Brosas, the special police officer of DOJ-PPA, shared that this special project will give dignity to those who wish to make an impact on the community and become productive.

The participating local government units in the region and the DOT have identified several heritage sites. Some of these sites include Our Lady of Annunciation Cathedral Parish, Catbalogan Lighthouse-Parola, Bayview Centennial Park, Nasunugan Watchtower Ruins, Carigara Municipal Library and Museum, Grand Canyon, St. Michael Archangel Church, Madonna of Japan, Malajog Natural Ridge Park, Battle of Ormoc Bay Memorial Park and Veterans Park, and Immaculate Conception Church.

As part of a partnership, probationers and parolees must perform four hours of community service every month for a period of 10 months. At the end of the program, they will receive payment under the DOLE’s Tulong Pangkabuhayan sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program.

Joyce and others received t-shirts and personal equipment for the clean-up drive. The ongoing special project was launched on April 22, coinciding with World Earth Day. The DOLE allocated some P1.45 million for the payout of the participating DOJ-PPA clients.
Ma. Beverly D. Ampo, the regional officer-in-charge of DOJ-PPA, emphasized that the DOJ-PPA clients are not just receiving assistance but also finding occasional temporary work. Furthermore, they contribute to the community and demonstrate that government support makes real change possible.

“First time ko mag-attend hin sugad nga activity ngan kailangan gihapon namon maglimpyo o clean-up drive once a month. Happy ako kay nakakabulig kami hiton aton komunidad. Nagpapasalamat ako nga may ada gihapon nabulig pagsuporta ha amon nga mga probation,” Joyce expressed her appreciation and gratitude for this partnership and project.

(It’s my first time attending such an activity, and we still need to participate in a clean-up drive once a month. I’m happy because we’re able to help our community. I am thankful that there are still those who support us in our probation.)

The three government agencies’ partnership has provided Joyce and other probationers and parolees with a meaningful rehabilitation program, helping them contribute to their community and make a positive impact as they reintegrate into society.

(AAC, PIA Leyte, with reports from PIA interns Diana Loste and Alexis Macasujot)