Tolentino bats for privately-owned jails
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Francis Tolentino proposed the idea of having private companies build and operate new jail facilities, which will be used to detain non-heinous crimes convicts.
Tolentino floated his idea during his interpellation on Senate Bill 1055. The bill seeks to build “state of the art” prison facilities for the housing of inmates convicted of heinous crimes.
“Privatization of prisons will pave the way for establishing a penitentiary that will enable us to accomplish the goal of Senate Bill 1055, which is, to ensure public safety, as well as the safety of inmates, by isolating the most violent and vicious offenders inside a highly secured and detached facility,” Tolentino said in a statement issued Thursday.
He added that his interpellation seeks “to bring to the attention of the Senate a novel idea, actually tried and tested in many countries in the world, and which has been proven to be advantageous to the government in the long run.”
For Tolentino, he said that the proposal would be practical since the total number of prisoners in the country is “is not as high compared to developed countries like the United States and countries in South East Asia.”
He then cited countries that have privately-owned prisons, such as Australia, Japan and Thailand, among others.
“The State can allow the private sector to completely build even on a PPP program from [the] ground up, all the facilities including the landscaping at no expense to the government and the private sector will just maintain the non-sovereign functions like laundry, kitchen and general maintenance, but the prison facilities will be still be guarded by the Bureau of Corrections,” Tolentino said.
He also proposed a joint-venture between the government and the private sector where, Tolentino said, some prison functions will be bid out.
“The private sector constructs at no expense to the government, the government maintains, but some functions will be given to the private sectors for a certain fee,” he said. /muf