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BJMP moves to protect jailbirds

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Fully aware that heavily congested prison facilities could result in various illnesses, especially during summer, the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) yesterday said it was taking necessary steps to protect the detainees from contracting diseases.

BJMP spokesman Chief Insp. Xavier Solda said one of the preventive steps they were taking was to make sure that the medical team of each jail facility was keeping track of the inmates’ health condition.

He added they were also making sure the ventilation and water supply of every facility are available and properly working.

The country’s jail facilities own the unwanted distinction of having one of the highest occupancy rates in the world.

Last month, BJMP chief Director Deogracias Tapayan admitted it would take three years or more before they can solve the high congestion rate in detention facilities in the country.

This year, the BJMP was given P2.9 billion for the construction of jail facilities to decongest the existing buildings.

As of 31 January, there were 137,105 inmates in different BJMP facilities across the country, with a 442 percent congestion rate.

Of this number, 98,540 persons deprived of liberty detainees are facing drug-related cases.

Meanwhile, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines on Sunday said the suspension of prisoner privileges is not a solution to the continued proliferation of illegal drugs in prisons.

Bro. Rudy Diamante advised Bureau of Correction is Director Nicanor Faeldon to instead use their intelligence fund to abolish illegal activities in prisons.

Diamante insisted that Faeldon should also consider the feelings and situation of the family of prisoners, especially those coming from far-flung places who were visiting them.

with Raymart Lolo

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