Issue of September 1, 2019
Mt. Province
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BJMP opens new jail in Ifugao
by Marcelo B. Lihgawon / PIA

KIANGAN, Ifugao – The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology inaugurated last week a  three-story district jail male-dormitory worth more than P19 million.

The building located at Tiger Hill, Baguinge, has 12 cells and new facilities, which will provide better environment for persons deprived of liberty (PDL).

With the new building which has a cell area of 648 square meters, the congestion rate of the Ifugao District Jail (IDJ) will be negative 22 percent reaching the minimum standards set by the United Nations on the treatment of PDL.

“Our brothers and sisters behind bars deserve another chance. It will only happen if we will provide them facilities and provisions to develop their potentials and well-being,” BJMP Regional Director S/Supt. Edgar Bolcio said.

The old jail has a cell area of 132 square meters which can ideally hold 28 PDL but currently has 107 PDL equivalent to 280 percent congestion rate.

Since the inception of the BJMP in 1990, the problem encountered by most jails in the country is overcrowding. Such problem arise from lack of facilities and resources to establish jails which should go hand in hand with the rapid increase of PDL over the years.

Due to lack of funding, the practice before was just to convert government office buildings into detention facilities by merely putting iron bars, barbed wires and concrete walls around its perimeter. Such practice resulted not only to a difficult living conditions of the PDL but also made jails susceptible to jail breaks and other disastrous incidents.

Bolcio said construction of the new building was through the efforts of those in the public and private sectors. The project was initiated in 2012 but due to legal and technical impediments in its implementation, its completion dragged for almost six years until it was finally completed last year and declared operational this year.

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