DILG: Placing all provincial jails under BJMP is needed and timely
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is throwing its support behind Senator Ronaldo Dela Rosa's bill seeking to transfer control and supervision of all provincial and sub-provincial jails from the Provincial Governments to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), saying that “placing all jails under one government jail institution is not only timely but needed.”
"It's just logical that all provincial jails in the country be integrated under BJMP as this will prompt a more standard implementation of policies for our jails. Nararapat lamang na magkaroon ng matibay at pantay-pantay na pamamahala at pangangalaga ang ating mga kababayan sa ating mga bilangguan," says DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año.
"Panahon na din para ilagak ang pangangasiwa ng mga bilangguan sa bansa sa BJMP. This will result in more professionally-run provincial jails," he adds.
Records from the BJMP show that of the 74 provincial jails nationwide, 13 provincial jails are now being supervised and manned by the BJMP by virtue of a memorandum of agreement between the LGUs and the provincial governments. Meanwhile, seven provinces have no provincial jails and utilize the BJMP district jails for their requirements.
Año says that Dela Rosa's proposed bill, once passed and approved, will facilitate better management of provincial jails under competent and highly trained personnel of BJMP thereby "maximizing the Bureau's resources for efficient delivery of basic services for our persons deprived of liberty (PDLs)."
He explains that though Provincial Governments have been coping with the challenges of managing provincial and sub-provincial jails, it is irrefutable that the overall national standard of jail management can be further improved once all jails are lodged under BJMP, one of DILG's attached-agencies.
He says that there are reports of escapes in local government unit-ran jails due to ill-trained personnel and inadequate facilities.
"As the national government continually earmarks more budget to the BJMP to address pressing issues such as congestion, placing provincial jails under the Bureau's care can only lead to improved services for our PDLs," he says.
"Plus, it's one less problem for the LGUs. Mas makapagbibigay sila ng atensyon sa pagbibigay ng basic and social services sa mga mamamayan," he adds.
According to Dela Rosa's Senate Bill No. 1100, local jails under two different authorities "hinders the advancement of a national standard in operational management of all local jails that gears toward more effective rehabilitation of inmates."
The DILG Chief says that upon the transfer of the 61 provincial jails with a total jail population of 32,940 to the BJMP, adequate support such as hiring and training additional 14,573 jail officers will be considered to man the said jails.
"Handa tayong makipagtulungan at makiisa para sa mas maayos na pagbabagong-buhay ng ating mga kababayan sa likod ng rehas. The DILG through the BJMP is ready to implement this immediately once this bill is passed," he says.