3 additional buildings to solve jail congestion
(The Freeman) - December 11, 2017 - 4:00pm

CEBU, Philippines — The three additional buildings that will be constructed at the Cebu City jail will bring down the congestion rate to more than half, said Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) Chief Deogracias Tapayan.

“I understand they have 800 percent congestion rate in Cebu City jail alone. Pag matapos na yung construction natin ng building na yan, it will have an impact. (It will go down to) at least 300 percent,” Tapayan said, during the ground breaking activity yesterday morning.

Cebu City Jail’s Renante Rubio said the male dormitory alone currently accommodates 4,793 inmates, which is past its capacity of 600 inmates.

The government allocated P34 million for the construction of the three four-storey buildings on a 700-sq.m. lot inside the jail facility.

Project Manager Val Mantuhac said the construction of the additional jail buildings, which will be administered by Duros Development Corporation, will commence early next year.

“Contract duration namo is 800 days, but among gipaningkamotan mo-lessen siya,” Mantuhac said.

There will be a triangular atrium in the middle of each building and each prison cell with have its own bathroom.

“Sa atong building nga himoon, gi-consider namo ang ventilation sa mga priso, so sa tunga naa siyay atrium kay ato man pod gi-consider ang ilang humanitarian (needs),” he said.

Councilor Dave Tumulak, deputy mayor on peace and order, agreed that the additional buildings will improve the congestion in the jail.

“Dako kay nig katabang in terms of decongestion sa atoang mga jail inmates. Kay daghan kaayong masud. Karon man gud, huot kaayo sila so makapa-improve ni sa congestion sa atong mga inmates,” Tumulak said.

Food subsidy

Meanwhile, Mayor Tomas Osmeña announced that the city government is planning to give back the inmates’ food subsidy that was earlier stopped after the jail refused to undergo an audit.

Osmeña said this decision was influenced by the improvement that he saw in the jail, courtesy of the new administrators.

“I’m very much concerned that the previous administrators of this jail were corrupt. That’s why I stopped all the food subsidy. And then this time, we have a new administrator, (it) has improved greatly. We are making the proper arrangements for prisoners to get their fair share,” he said.

Tumulak said the food subsidy will still retain its previous amount of P60 per meal for each inmate.

“Kay daghan kay siya’g (Osmena) na-receive nga mga information nga kaniadto (nga) wa taronga pag-da kuno ang pagpakaon sa atoang mga piniriso.  Pero karon nakita man nato mga ni-improve na. So, hopefully next year madungagan ang pagkaon sa atoang mga piniriso,” he said.

“But dili lang kay kana ra. Mo-supply man sad ta nila og tubig, pagkolekta sa basura, bisag unsa pa na training sa DMDP (Department of Manpower Development and Placement) nato. As part of rehabilitation kana sa atoang mga inmates diri sa city jail,” he added.

Signal jammer

Osmeña also expressed his concern on the drug problem in the jail and said signal jammers will be installed if the problem gets out of control.

“Our city jail is used as the distribution center of drugs. The procedure is that the younger criminals are recruited by the older ones. We have to take additional steps to isolate the big drug lords and the ones who are (just) beginning to use (drugs). It’s very hard to manage the distribution unless there is a command center, which our jails are now being used as,” he said.

“There has to be a reduction every year. I’m not trying to eliminate the drug problem, they cannot even do that in America but there has to be a reduction every year. Even if there’s a 5 percent reduction, ako nang dawaton, basta reduction, dili addition,” he said.

Tumulak said the ordinance to install a signal jammer in the jail will have to be reintroduced since earlier plans did not push through.

He said the city government will be providing landline services where inmates can call for free.

“Ang city moy mo-gasto sa pagbutang og linya sa telepono. Para sad kahatagan og kahigayunan katong way mga cellphone, hatagan nga makahinabi by schedule. Depende ni sa unsa’y ipatuman sa BJMP,” he added. (FREEMAN)

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