BJMP jail congestion rate dropped significantly, now at 300% — Abalos
The congestion rate in jail facilities of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) has decreased significantly, the Department of the Interior and Local Government said Thursday.
In a press conference, Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos Jr. said the congestion rate at the BJMP dropped to 387%, as of June 2022, from 612% in 2017.
“Sa totoo lang, iikutin po namin ang bansa tungkol dito sa jail congestion. We want to make sure that they got very humane environment, hindi siksikan,” Abalos said.
(Truthfully, we will go around the country to check on jail congestion. We want to make sure that they got a very humane environment, that it is not congested.)
“Pero alam naman natin na may mga LGUs na mayayaman at may LGUs na hindi ganon kayaman (but we know that there are LGUs that are rich and LGUs that are not),” he added.
Abalos said the BJMP allocated P6.7 billion of funds to construct, improve, and repair jail facilities.
For his part, BJMP chief Allan Iral said the agency needs lot of donations from local government units. He said they must also monitor the plea bargaining system and continue coordinating with courts for the fast-tracking of hearings.
“In that way, we can reduce the congestion rate of the BJMP jails,” he said.
The Interior secretary said the agency is also mulling if it would be possible for local governments to lend BJMP their lots on a long-term basis.
“We will be asking, requesting the LGUs, to possibly donate their lots kasi para mapatayuan namin. But I’m also tinkering with the idea, ewan ko if pupwede ito, baka ‘yung iba ayaw mag donate, why not… a long term use of usufruct,” he said.
“Meaning, that the LGU would retain ownership of the property but would lend these to the BJMP on a long term. Let’s say 30 years, 40 years para lang magamit (just so we can use these),” he added.
According to Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla, jail facilities under the Bureau of Corrections also have a 300% congestion rate.
Meanwhile, Abalos also proposed the installment of CCTV cameras in the hallways of jail facilities for the protection of the persons deprived of liberty and police officers.
“Isa pa siguro na ipu-push ko rin kung kaya rin lang ng pera will be CCTVs inside, doon man lang sa alley ng jail, 'yung labasan,” he said.
“Mahirap, eh, para makita. Baka mamaya, alam mo sabi ko nga, it must be a humane environment. Dapat walang nilalabas. Baka mamaya nilalabas sa kulungan… o may mga abuses, so para klaro ito, I would strongly suggest… na magkaroon ng mga CCTVs,” he added.—AOL, GMA News