To address overcrowding in jails, the government will be shelling out around P3 billion to build 60 new jail facilities.
“I am glad to report that the government has allotted P3 billion for the construction of 60 new jail facilities to reduce jail congestion rate,” President Rodrigo Duterte said during the 28th anniversary of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) in Camp Aguinaldo on Friday night, 12 July.
Duterte said prisoners are still human beings and deserved to be given a place good enough to live in.
“They are human beings and we are supposed to give them habitable prison. Kaya lang inuuna natin (But we are prioritizing) the other priorities, sometimes they are really forgotten,” Duterte said.
Duterte lauded the BJMP for cooperating with Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in the administration’s campaign against illegal drugs, particularly in the confiscation of contraband.
“I am pleased that your conduct of the almost 30,000 Greyhound Operations from January to…2019 has led to the confiscation of the illegal drugs, weapons, and almost P2 million worth of cash and other contraband from jail cells,” Duterte said.
The BJMP has also conducted more than 13,000 surprise drug testing, which led to the dismissal of drug users within the organization.
Meanwhile, Duterte reminded BJMP personnel to continue to upholding the rule of law and protecting democratic institutions.
“May you continue to embody your institution’s vital role of contributing to the transformation and reformation of society. It is my hope that this milestone will further inspire you to harness your professional skills and expertise to promote the common good,” Duterte said.
Reports showed that jails have become increasingly more packed since the launch of Duterte’s drug war in 2016.
As of March 12, the BJMP accommodates 138,881 persons deprived of liberty although the 476 jail facilities nationwide are supposed to cater to almost 30,000 only.
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