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Manila City Jail rolls out e-dalaw system amid COVID-19 scare

After the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) suspended all jail visitations in Metro Manila amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) threat, the Manila City Jail rolled out the electronic dalaw as an alternative for inmates who want to see their loved ones.

According to James Agustin’s Sunday report on “24 Oras Weekend,” inmates will still be able to see their families through the BJMP’s e-dalaw - a supervised teleconference via Skype.

The BJMP, however, clarified that only its official account will be used by the inmates.

“Kino-contact po nila ang kanilang mga mahal sa buhay para makausap nila kasi nga po ‘yon po ang alternatibo namin ngayon dahil hindi rin po pinapapasok ang contact visit na tinatawag po namin ang pagdalaw nila,” Manila City Jail assistant warden and jail senior inspector Jayrex Bustinera said.

The BJMP suspended all jail visits in 42 jails of the National Capital Region starting March 11.

Meanwhile, Manila City Jail said the disinfection of cells were being conducted daily.

However, the BJMP admitted social distancing measures had been a problem since the Manila City Jail, which can only house 1,100 inmates, has a total of 4,800.

“It’s really a challenge sa BJMP itong issue ng physical distancing kaya mine-maintain natin ‘yong strict implementation ng mga precautionary measures natin,” BJMP spokesperson and jail chief inspector Xavier Solda said.

A total of 36 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have already been reported in Manila as of March 29.

In the Philippines, the number of cases rose to 1,418 including 71 deaths and 42 recoveries. — Ma. Angelica Garcia/DVM, GMA News