TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) Cagayan Valley is allotted P260 million fund for building new jails and facilities this year.
BJMP 02 Assistant Regional Director for Administration Jail Superintendent Flory Sanchez said Region 02 has the third highest funding among all regions.
Sanchez said they will construct new buildings in towns and cities including Tuguegarao City, Aparri, Tuao, and Ballesteros in Cagayan, Roxas and Cauayan City in Isabela, Santiago City, and Cabarroguis in Quirino province.
The allocation for infrastructure development is also part of the “Build, Build, Build” program of the Duterte administration.
The proposed new buildings aim to decongest the number of persons deprived of liberty (PDL) in BJMP’s jails.
She said they are eyeing to relocate BJMP Tuguegarao City into a wider facility should the city government here donate a lot. Earlier, officials of this city’s jail said their total number of PDLs exceed their ideal capacity.
“We have very limited space na sa Cataggaman but we have changed the plan if in case talagang hindi kami makakuha ng lot donation. Instead na yung level ng ating facility is one floor lang, we will go up na lang,” Sanchez said.
BJMP officials attended Tipon-Tipan sa PIA [Philippine Information Agency] here on Tuesday, March 20, to promote their agency’s mantra: “Changing Lives, Building a Safer Nation.”
Meanwhile, Sanchez said the region was allotted such funds despite having the second lowest number of PDLs.
The region currently has 3,603 PDLs. 82% of which are related to drug cases, she said.
From this number, 897 are in Santiago City District Jail which was also given the highest infrastructure budget of P27 million, among the 11 district jails.
Meanwhile, Solano and Tuguegarao City district jails lead behind Santiago City for having the most number of inmates.
Sanchez noted that space is a perennial problem in jails nationwide, but she assured PDLs in this region are provided proper care and health services.
“Gagawin po namin ang lahat ng aming makakaya para matulungan po namin ang ating ga mahal sa buhay, ang ating mga [PDL] na nasa ating jurisdiction para kahit papaano paglabas nila, pagkalaya sila sa kanilang pansamantalang tahanan ay iba na sila, meron na silang baon na mga skills, meron nang pagbabago sa kanilang behaviors,” Sanchez said.
Sanchez also said the region has released 35% of its PDLs as a result of the government’s policy on conducting continuous hearing for PDLs with drug cases. Northernforum.net