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ZCPPO No. 2 Mid-Year Assessment: Exceeding Targets

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The Parole and Probation Administration is mandated by law not only to investigate potential convicted offenders who would likely respond positively to community-based corrections but also to supervise their much needed rehabilitationand, ensure successful reintegration into the mainstream of society and prevent commission of another crime.  Probation is a disposition under which a defendant, after conviction and sentence, is released subject to conditions imposed by the court and to the supervision of a probation officer.   Parole, on the other hand, is the conditional release of a prisoner from correctional institution after serving the minimum period of prison sentence.  In probation, service of sentence is suspended while in parole, there is partial extinguishment of criminal liability.  These are just two of the many differences between probation and parole.  These two remedies or benefits provided by Law to a deserving, qualified criminal offender all promote one basic necessity, which is,convicted offender needs correctionswith no other requirement but mere conviction of a crime. Whether it is institutionalized or community-based corrections, it largely depends on the result of the investigation and sound discretion of the Courts or the Board of Pardons and Parole.

Presidential Decree 968, otherwise known as “The Adult Probation Law of 1976”, was signed into law on 24 July 1976 by then President Ferdinand E. Marcos and took effect on 2 January 1978.  The law on probation has undergone several amendments and the recent one was Republic Act 10707 which amended Section 4 (Grant of Probation, Section 9 (Disqualified Offenders), Section 16 (Termination of Probation), Section 24 (Miscellaneous Powers of Regional, Provincial and City Probation Officers), Section 27 (Field Assistants, Subordinate Personnel) and Section 28 (Volunteer Probation Assistants).The Agency has adopted a harmonized and integrated treatment program for these clients to effect their rehabilitation. This harmonized and integrated program involves (1) The Therapeutic Community Modality (2) The Restorative Justice Principles and Concepts and (3) the Use of Volunteer Probation Aassistants (VPAs).

Being tasked at providing community-based corrections, the Parole and Probation Office mechanized strategy to increase community involvement in corrections thru recruitment of Volunteer Probation Assistants, formerly known as Volunteer Probation Aides.  After all, community involvement is a must in community-based corrections.  The Volunteer Probation Assistants, or commonly referred to as VPAs, are the community partners of Probation and Parole Officers, or PPOs, in effecting rehabilitation to convicted offenders. The enlistment and training of VPAs started in 1977 while the Agency was preparing for the operationalization of the national probation program which was to begin on 3 January 1978.  The recruitment of VPAsin Region 9 commenced only in the 1980s.  In 2005, Executive Order No. 468 was signed into law by then President Gloria M. Arroyo directing the PPA to revitalize its VPA Program.  The Policy Guidelines on the VPA Program of the Agency was duly approved by the Secretary of Justice on 26 October 2006.  It has the following objectives:  1. To amplify the extent of services rendered to clients in an effective yet economical means through the use of volunteers; 2. To develop a competent corps of VPAs who will assist the PPA officers in the effective supervision of clients; 3. To inculcate greater citizen awareness and understanding of the criminal justice system; 4. To enhance community participation in crime prevention, treatment of offenders and criminal justice administration; and 5. To foster an attitude of meaningful involvement in the social, economic, cultural and political affairs of the community.

During the 41st Anniversary of the promulgation of PD 968 and creation of the Parole and Probation Administration, the Zamboanga City Parole and Probation Office No. 2 held a Mid-Year Assessment of their office performance from January to June 2017.  The office exceeds the target for the first semester based on the three Major Final Output namely:  Investigation, Supervision and Rehabilitation.  The office handled 152 probation and parole investigation cases, supervised and rendered rehabilitation services to approximately 193 probationers and parolees.  Modesty aside, the office achieved more than 100% accomplishment of its targets which largely affects the accomplishments of the entire Region IX.  The biggest achievement of the office is the number of rehabilitation and intervention services rendered to clients.  The whole year target of the region is 10,888 but the office alone already achieved 10,490 intervention services rendered to clients as early as June 30, 2017, leaving behind only 398 for the remaining six (6) months of the year.  Needless to mention the accomplishments of Zamboanga City Parole and Probation Office No. 1 which also soared high in its accomplishments and nine (9) more probation offices around Zamboanga Peninsula Region.

This year’s anniversary theme: “PPA @ 41: Bridging Lives, Empowering People, Creating Myriads of Hope for a Stronger and a Drug-Free Nation.” enveloped the important roles of the community in rehabilitation, reintegration and crime prevention.  The presence and active involvement ofVPAs serve as avenue of hope to a reforming offender that their probation or parole will result to a cordial treatment environment outside prison/jail walls.  PPOs in partnership with VPAs bridge offenders to available community resources and help improve the quality of their lives, bring offenders’ family together, assist in restoration of broken relationships and effect elimination of social stigma.  Clients are carefully guided in turning their lives from wrong living to right living in such a way that commission of another crime will be close to impossible.  In addition, family support is likewise strongly encouraged.  Family members come and attend also to rehabilitation activities of the office.

Indeed, the first semester of CY 2017 has been very fruitful for Zamboanga City Parole and Probation Office No. 2.  It is right and just to give credit to the community partners of the office for all their sacrificial efforts and hard work.  This office would like to extend its grateful appreciation for the unstinting support and assistance of the Estrella Del Mar Volunteer Probation Assistants Association under the leadership of VPA Rey Modillas, President.  Other officers of the VPA association include:  VPA Hannah Nuno, Vice-President; VPA Prosperidad Bolodo, Secretary; VPA Teresa Linda Herrera, Treasurer; VPA Corazon Solaran, Public Information Officer; VPA Maria Theresa Go, Sergeant-At-Arms; VPAs Abrecito Canaria, Anunciacion Enopia, Sony Boy Jalani, Julieta Tigo, Josue Lee and Abdulmutalib Usab,Board of Directors.  Furthermore, the office greatly acknowledges the invaluable services of the following VPAs who acted as Resource Persons/Facilitators during Therapeutic Community Live-In and/or Live-Out:  VPAs Anunciacion Enopia, Abrecito Canaria, Prosperidad Bolodo, Teresa Linda Herrera, Hannah Nuno, Maria Theresa Go, Corazon Solaran, Rey Modillas, Rogelio Miranda, Roselia Ledesma, Virginia Jagunap, Sonny Boy Jalani, Eufrosinia Andion, Mijar Palulla and Nila Climaco.  The office likewise extends its profound recognition of the assistance rendered of the following VPAs who acted as Resource Individuals:  VPAs Rey Modillas, Rogelio Miranda, Hannah Nuno, Teresa Linda Herrera, Maria Theresa Go, Nila Climaco, Eufrosinia Andion, Roselia Ledesma, Virginia Jagunap, Anunciacion Enopia, Danilo Paragas, Abrecito Canaria, Prosperidad Bolodo, Marjorie Sta. Teresa, Serbillo Molina, Virginia Alicaya, Josue Lee, Roberto Arsenia, Juliet Tigo, Bernard Tigo, Raquel Olivo, Corazon Solaran, Flordelina Saddalani, Avelina Rivera, Claribel Sotto, Pilar D agalea,Mijar Palulla and Sabran Sahid.

Though a national government office, the Zamboanga City Parole and Probation Office No. 2 is serving the local constituents of Zamboanga City.  As of end of June 2017, the office has only a total of twenty-nine (29) active VPAs:  twenty-seven (27) appointed VPAs and two (2) awaiting appointment.  Only twenty-nine (29) VPAs are assisting the five (5) personnel of Zamboanga City Parole and Probation Office No. 2 in catering to the rehabilitation needs of convicted offenders in ninety-eight (98) Barangays of the city. Personnel and community partners are having regular recruitment of potential VPAs and revitalization of inactive VPAs to join the association.   It is not the number of VPAs the office has but the quality of VPAs with proven integrity, strong commitment and dedication to render services to our befallen brothers and sisters without remuneration.

Credits are also given to the hardworking women and men behind Zamboanga City Parole and Probation Office No. 2 under the leadership of the late Chief Probation and Parole Office Nicasio D. Dujali.  Personnel complement of the office includes Sr Probation and Parole Officers Jason G. Garcia and Alyssa M.Z. Comique, Probation and Parole Officer I Clydelyn M. Hortilano, Administrative Aide IV Nur-Irina D. Berto and JOP Mijar A. Palulla.

Kudos to Estrella Del Mar VPAs! Long Live PPA!  (YsaComique/PR)




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