Two things struck Japanese Probation Officer Eisuke Kamiya the most – poverty in the Philippines is serious than he expected and Volunteer Probation Assistants (VPA) are essential.
Determined to give a straightforward feedback on his recent stint in the Parole and Probation Administration (PPA), Mr. Kamiya, a Senior Probation Officer of Tokyo Probation Office, presented both his observations and the good practices of the Agency in his exit conference on March 3, 2017 with the Administrator, Manuel G. Co and other key officials of the office.
During the conference, he made several points which he said would help improve the financial condition of the PPA clients. He said teaching clients to earn more money and sharing good practice like the outstanding honeybee production in Legazpi City might do the trick. According to him, honey is an expensive produce and engaging in this trade will help in improving the lives of the clients.
He also observed that tree planting as part of Restorative Justice (RJ) activity is good especially for the community. The long-term rehabilitation program he tagged as “futuristic” gives the clients the opportunity to share themselves and give back to the community while being rehabilitated. He commended the activity and mentioned that Japan lacks this in their rehabilitation program.
Given the significant role of the VPAs in the rehabilitation of clients, Mr. Kamiya emphasized that they should be treated as family. He noticed the “groupings” during lunchtime when Probation and Parole Officers (PPOs) and VPAs gather to themselves to eat – a case of Filipino culture called regionalism or “pagkakanya-kanya”. He believed that a simple gesture such as the PPOs joining them for lunch or mealtime during an activity is a good way to show them they are part of the family – a practice they do in Japan whenever they interact with volunteers.
Ending his presentation, Mr. Kamiya suggested advertising our “fascination” to the community to gain more support from the public. This way, he said, the Agency can also introduce itself and its services.
After the presentation, Administrator Co and the regional directors who facilitated and assisted in Mr. Kamiya’s travels and visits to various field offices and communities in the country gave their respective explanations and clarifications on the issues presented them. They explained the issues on budget constraints, sharing of good practices to other regions, the Filipino culture like regionalism, the danger the female probation officers face while conducting investigation work in the depressed areas, the support of local officials in the program of the Agency, the various livelihood programs for clients and mandatory tree planting as part of rehabilitation program.
Also present in the said conference held at Teodulo Natividad Hall were RD Edita K. Buemio, ARD Judea P. Asuncion, ROIC Lucy Neneth V. Rojas, RD Perlita S. Silvederio, CPPO Santiago R. Lindayag, Jr., SPPO Ma. Isabel B. Castillo, Atty. Rey Daniel N. Gonzaga, CPPO Hyacinth V. Castaños, and SPPO Danilo M. Capili.
Mr. Kamiya, Senior Probation Officer of Tokyo Probation Office conducted his developmental study through the Parole and Probation Administration to learn more about probation and parole system in the Philippines. His stay in the country involved visits and meeting clients in some probation offices in Regions III, IV-A, IV-B, V and NCR. His office is under the Rehabilitation Bureau of the Ministry of Justice in Japan.
JAPANESE VPOs VISIT PPA
To boost the Volunteer Probation Assistant (VPA) program of the Parole and Probation Administration (PPA), the Agency hosted the visit of eleven (11) volunteer probation officers (VPOs) from Japan last January 29 – February 3, 2017.
The study visit aimed to provide opportunity to VPOs of both countries to exchange ideas, share knowledge and experiences in the probation volunteerism programs. In a meeting held at the PPA-DOJ Multi-Purpose Hall, the Japanese delegation headed by Atty. Hiroko Kikuchi and the local VPA association from the PPA-National Capital Region engaged in an open forum.
During the said interaction, discussion centered on the activities implemented and programs adopted in the rehabilitation of probationers, procedures undertaken in the supervision of clients and probation system of Japan and the Philippines.
Prior to the open forum, NCR Regional Director Perlita S. Silvederio made a brief presentation about the PPA. Administrator Manuel G. Co and Deputy Administrator Lorna A. Yumul gave their respective messages to the participants.
Also included in the itinerary of the VPOs were courtesy call to Justice Undersecretary Reynante B. Orceo, heads of offices like the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), Correctional Institution for Women (CIW) and mayors of Mandaluyong and San Juan cities. Jail visitation was also included in the study visit of the Japanese VPOs.