Manila: Inmates at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in suburban Muntinlupa City have decided to skip meals to donate to victims of typhoon Bopha.

According to an article published in the Social Action News section of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines Online, NBP inmates have decided to skip their regular meal cycle so that they can set aside money that they can donate to typhoon victims.

According to Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, inmates at NBP had taken to skipping meals for two reasons.

“This Kalinga sa Kapwa (caring for others) is a fasting — a form of sacrifice, wherein the inmates will skip their meals in three days in promotion of the concept of the Restorative Justice, as well as in response to the President Benigno Aquino III’s call to help the victims of typhoon Pablo (Bopha),” Pabillo said.

Bopha, which lashed the southern eastern portion of the southern island of Mindanao, destroyed thousands of homes and devastated huge tracts of banana plantations land in Davao region, including the provinces of Compostella Valley, Davao Oriental and Davao del Norte.

The typhoon, according to the latest tally by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NRDDMC), left 1,067 people dead while the cost of damages was placed at P34 billion (Dh3 billion).

Pabillo said the sacrifices made by the inmates to help others are commendable.

“Even in their poor conditions, prison inmates are more than willing to deprive themselves even more if such would help others in need,” he said.

Inmates of the Maximum Security Compound had formed the “Operation Kalinga sa Kapwa: Tulong sa mga naulila at biktima ng trahedya na dulot ng Bagyong Pablo” (Operation Care for Others: Assistance for those orphaned and devastated by Typhoon Pablo) and had committee to donate their food allowances and subsidies allocated for them in three days.

Instead of the customary meals during Christmas, the inmates will sacrifice their meals on December 24, 25, and 26.

The funds to be raised by the inmates will be remitted likewise to the President’s Social Secretary.

Officials of the New Bilibid Prison praised the inmates for manifesting their desire to donate to victims of typhoon Pablo.

“The worth of their three-day meal is P1,845,000 (Dh165,028) and the inmates practically will be fed though their visitors who are expected to bring more food for the holidays. They [inmate] will share with one another the food they have so they can convert into cash the meal allocated for them during the said period,” said Supt. Antonio Cabil Cruz, NBP Office of the Assistant Director for Operations.