PJ: Digital network to decongest jails
Le Phyllis F. Antojado (The Freeman) - September 29, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Cebu Third District Rep. Pablo John Garcia has filed a bill seeking to decongest the jail facilities in the country by establishing a national monitoring system for Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDL).

Under House Bill No. 7703, a digital network that will serve as a secured database containing all information about the PDLs such as pending arrest warrants, ongoing cases, and period of their detention is proposed.

Garcia said that based on the 2018 data from the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, the congestion rate of detention centers have reached 582.37% or an excess of over 120,000 PDLs in the jail facilities. Thousands of PDLs are also nearing or over 60 years old, he added.

If passed into a law, the digital network will be connected to different courts including the Department of Justice (DOJ), BJMP, Bureau of Corrections, Board of Pardons and Parole, and Parole and Probation Administration.

Through this network, it is easy to identify PDL eligible for parole, probation and release, thus, decongesting overcrowded jail centers and giving inmates an improved living conditions.

“Our criminal justice system must be compassionate and ensure the proper reintegration of rehabilitated persons into society. Lives must be redeemed to pursue their social and economic potential—lives must be empowered so that all Filipinos may attain a law-abiding and fulfilling existence,” Garcia said in a press statement.

The congressman also supports of transferring the management of provincial jails to BJMP.

“Provincial jails are a huge drain on the resources of provinces. Transferring them to the BJMP would not only ease this burden, but would facilitate the monitoring system for inmates and PDLs,” he added. — FPL (FREEMAN)

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