Project LAYA: A Jail Decongestion Program

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LCP Mario Dionisio Jr.

After the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) last July 5, between the Rotary Club of Manila South (RCMS), Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Manila 1 (J.B. L. Reyes) Chapter, and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), the #ProjectLAYA is yielding more positive results. This is so because day after day, more Persons Deprived Liberty (PDLs) are released from jail. Under the agreement, it was agreed by the parties that they would collaborate and work together for #ProjectLAYA, a jail decongestion program, by helping and rendering appropriate legal assistance to the PDL detained at the Manila City Jail, Male and Female Dormitory, who are already due for release or have already served the sentence imposed upon them.

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This project was launched in 2019 as the brainchild of Atty. Mario Dionisio Jr. who introduced it to the Rotary Club of Manila South and became one of its service projects during the term of its Champion President James Arthur Jimenez. #ProjectLAYA stands for Lingap, Alalay, Yakap and Agapay. Though they have no formal agreement on the matter during that time, the said project was successfully implemented considering that the RCMS, IBP Manila 1 Chapter, PAO Manila and the BJMP have a common objective of helping and looking for the welfare of those overstaying PDLs. As of this writing, more than a hundred PDLs have already benefited from this project.

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Obviously, PDLs who have been released cannot contain their happiness as they walk towards the exit gate of the Manila City Jail. They are excited to return to their loved ones and to the free world. As those PDLs regain a new lease on life, LCP Mario. is hopeful that they can rebuild their lives and become functional members of the society again. They can now utilize, for their employment or source of income, the vocational and technical courses that they took while inside the jail facility during their incarceration. Indeed, Rotarians have a dual responsibility: represent their occupations within their club and exemplify the ideals of Rotary in their places. And this is what LCP Mario is doing, being the Life Changing President of the Rotary Club of Manila South and who at the same time is the District Head of the Public Attorney’s Office of Manila, to continue serving to change lives.

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