Issue of November 4, 2018
     
NEWS
Benguet
 
OPINION
 

2018
Panagbenga Flower Festival
 
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Baguio City Jail to expand in Sto Tomas
by Julie G. Fianza / PIO

Baguio City Jail Male Warden Crispin Dornagon said plans for the extension of the facility in a portion of Mt. Sto. Tomas next year are being finalized.

Dornagon said the expansion would allow the City Jail to comply with the United Nations standard for the living area for Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs), which is four by four meters.

He said with a wider space, more activities for the PDLs can be conducted. He, however, said the facility’s accessibility to the courts may pose a challenge.

The congestion rate at the male PDLs dorm is 400 percent, Dornagon said.

Female Dorm Warden April Rose Ayangwa said the congestion rate at the female dorm is 100 percent.

Of the 470 male PDLs, 268 inmates or 57 percent have drug-related cases, while of the 97 female PDLs, 53 or 55 percent have drug-related cases.

The age of male dorm residents range from 16 to 76 years, while that of the females range from 19 to 55 years.

Among the activities held in the facility are livelihood, interfaith, sports, cultural events, and welfare programs, all done with the help of service providers.

There are also support services from groups that provide medical, psychological, attitudinal, therapeutic, and behavioral assistance and legal help.

Industry and skills development are also provided for the PDLs.

As part of the National Correctional Consciousness Week, talent search, cookfest, sports, and friendly competition were conducted. Services and interfaith providers also reached out to the PDLs.

During the “Kapihan sa Piitan,” Commission on Human Rights representative Atty. Joanne Toyokan said their office has not received complaints regarding the living conditions of PDLs at the Baguio City Jail male and female dorms.

To fast-track the disposal of drug-related cases, Ofelia Mondiguing, Clerk of Court of the Municipal Trial Court in the Cities, said the “no postponement order” is strictly observed.

She added that the hearing of drug-related cases is continuous even when some of the judges have to work simultaneously for two courts. She said this helps in the decongestion of the jails.

The Public Attorney’s Office said it represents hundreds of PDLs in court every week.


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