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Country’s ‘subhuman’ jails congested by over 300 percent


"Subhuman."
 
This was how Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II described the conditions in the country's jails as the Senate Committee on Finance tackled the proposed budget for the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology on Wednesday.
 
"Sa ating mga piitan sa BJMP (Bureau of Jail Management and Penology), talagang sobrang siksikan na at mahirap na talagang masabi na human ang conditions," Roxas told reporters.
 
Chief Superintendent Diony Dacanay Mamaril, the BJMP officer-in-charge, said that the congestion rate of detention cells nationwide was now at 326 percent. 
 
He told reporters that some detention centers even have congestion rates of more than 1,000 percent. He cited the case of the the Quezon City Jail Female Dormitory.
 
Mamaril said that some high-profile detainees like lawyer Gigi Reyes, who's accused of plunder in connection with the pork barrel scam, and Deniece Cornejo, who's facing a serious illegal detention charge filed by actor Vhong Navarro, could no longer be accommodated at the QC facility for women.
 
During the hearing, Mamaril mentioned that the subsistence or meal allowance of detainees was set at P50 for each person. He said the amount should cover a detainee's breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
 
When asked by Senator Francis Escudero, the chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, if the allowance was enough to cover the detainee's required nutritional content, the BJMP chief said that the agency had asked the Department of Budget and Management for additional P26 in its subsistence budget per inmateto meet the 1,500 calorie content in every meal for the detainees. 
 
The request has yet to be approved, he said.
 
"'Yung sa P50 po non-activity naman po sila (detainees). Di sila masyadong guamawa kasi sobrang sikip na. Sobrang congestion po hindi na nagalaw," he added. 
 
The BJMP is mandated to take operational and administrative control over city, district, and municipal jails. —NB, GMA News
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