A fully-equipped bakeshop inside the Cebu City Jail-Female Dormitory (CCJ-FD) was inaugurated last September 25.
The establishment is dubbed “Heart Bakeshop”. It serves as a place for women inmates to start honing their competencies in baking and entrepreneurial skills while serving prison term.
In June 2017, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology-7 approved the construction of the bakeshop in the vicinity of CCJ-FD.
Inside this 40 square-meter establishment, female inmates mix assorted ingredients to produce their bestsellers such as torta, empanada, soft roll, pandesal, spanish bread, doughnut, shakoy, egg bread, binangkal, and cheese sticks.
Their products are sold to their fellow inmates and to those who visit the jail facility. The profit is shared among the women and the jail management.
On the same day of the inauguration, thirty female inmates earned their Level II certificates of competency after undergoing a training even behind the bars.
They received their Bread and Pastry Production NC II certificates from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in a conferment ceremony.
They are the second batch of women inmates who completed the course training facilitated by the Recoletos Industrial and Technology Training Center (RITTC) and passed the assessment conducted by TESDA.
Dr. Joanna de Catalina, supervisor of the Institute for Non-Formal Education and Community Outreach Program (INFECOP) and Bro. Jaazeal D. Jakosalem, OAR, INFECOP started the designs for the livelihood project and the construction of the bakeshop in the second quarter of 2016.
To date, 60 female inmates have become beneficiaries of this particular technical-vocational course and 98% of them already passed the national competency certification.
Representatives from USJ-R, BJMP, TESDA and the Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals (BCBP) also visited the facility in Barangay Kalunasan, Cebu City, to witness this milestone.
University President Rev. Fr. Cristopher C. Maspara, OAR, also attended and led a Holy Mass inside the facility with Rev. Fr. Vicente L. Ramon, OAR and Rev. Fr. Niño R. Ruiz, OAR.
BJMP Officers J/Supt Corazon S. Noel and C/Insp Elsie R. Alcomendras, MPA lauded USJ-R for spearheading these projects during the conferment ceremony.
These projects are supported by generous donors such as Heart Anonymous, a non-government organization and BCBP who provided the bakeshop with an oven and three production tables.
Through the bakeshop, the project organizers hope that the inmates can further enhance their acquired skills so that they may be able to sustain themselves after serving their sentence.
Text by: Le Roy Gerald A. Sarchez
Photos by: Yoland Yap
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University of San Jose - Recoletos
Year Founded 1947