Congestion hits 14 Eastern Visayas jails
Most jails in Eastern Visayas remain congested with persons deprived of liberty cramped in small spaces that are beyond the holding limit of the facilities.
Records from the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology regional office shows that out of the 24 operational jail facilities in Eastern Visayas, 14 are congested where the jail population is beyond the ideal capacity of the facility.
The 91-square meter Borongan City District Jail, which is only good for 15 inmates, had 64 PDL or a congestion rate of 324 percent, the highest in the region.
The 1,023 square-meter floor area of the men’s dormitory at the Tacloban City Jail is ideal for only 187 inmates but is housing 630 PDLs as of 16 March.
Jail Senior Inspector Lourdes Noveda, information officer of BJMP regional office, says there were 1,729 PDL locked-up in the different BJMP-run facilities in the region as of 16 March with four in every 10 of them facing drug-related cases.
“Ginagawan nalang ng paraan. Some of them have double or triple deck beds while others sleep in hammocks,” Noveda said.
Noveda said jail conditions are much better now than three years ago during the height of the government campaign against drug proliferation. “All our facilities were congested. The number of inmates rose by 600 percent,” she said.
The General Appropriations Act of 2022 has allotted P1.35-million to BJMP-8 for repairs and improvement of jail facilities in the region. But no budget was allotted for the construction of new jails that would ease the congestion problem.
“We are not constructing any jail facility this year,” Noveda said.
The Tacloban City government has donated 5,000 square meters of property in Barangay Kawayan for the construction of a male dormitory for the Tacloban City Jail. A deed of donation has been executed but no plan has yet been made.
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