Cebu News

BJMP appeals to Capitol: Donate lots

May B. Miasco - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) in Cebu is appealing to the Cebu provincial government to donate lot where it can hold office.

During the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) second quarter meeting Thursday, Superintendent Rosalina Malahay, BJMP-Cebu jail administrator, raised at the conference its request to the Capitol for the lot donation.

At present, the BJMP Cebu province temporarily shares office with BJMP Region 7 (Central Visayas) that is situated in Cebu City.

In response, outgoing Governor Hilario Davide III, who presided over the meeting for the last time as chairman, said he will endorse the request to the incoming Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, who will soon head PPOC. Davide, the vice governor-elect, will sit as vice chairman by then.

The newly-elected officials are set to assume office noontime by June 30.

PPOC members, including BJMP, convened yesterday at the Capitol's dignitaries hall for the presentation of the accomplishment reports and operation plan of the different agencies and law enforcement units.

Malahay of BJMP-Cebu tackled during the meeting the lack of jail facilities.

She said the office needs more jail facilities in order to address the province's congestion rate at 570 percent.

With that, the BJMP provincial office is also asking the Capitol to donate vacant properties for the construction of district jails in the towns or component cities.

Davide, for his part, acknowledged the need for more jail facilities.

“Congestion is the main problem hounding our jails. The province lacks jail facilities. Even in towns and cities, our jails are limited in capacity,” he said.

Malahay said her office is planning to build new facilities in the towns of Barili and Santander, however it has yet to look for available properties.

She added that the national office is willing to allocate funds solely for the construction of new facilities.

In fact, Malahay said the BJMP central office allotted P42 million budget for the construction of the Toledo City Jail, which sits on a 26,018-square-meter lot that the office has earlier acquired.

The city jail is expected to be fully operational by fourth or last quarter of the year.

Morever, Malahay said the head office also shelled out P16 million each for the separate construction of new jail facilities in the towns of Tuburan and Balamban in midwest Cebu.

The construction of the jails will start in the third quarter of the year.

Malahay said the BJMP's new Argao District Jail has already been operational, but is currently housing 115 inmates, way higher than its ideal capacity of 43.

Cebu province is a host to 21 jail facilities that are holding a total number of 16,647 inmates. — Bonen Clarin (FREEMAN)

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