DILG backs transfer of some convicts from BuCor facilities to provincial jails
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Wednesday floated the possibility of transferring convicts of less serious crimes from Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) facilities to provincial jails in a bid to ease congestion.
Jonathan Malaya, DILG spokesperson and Undersecretary for Plans, Public Affairs, and Communications, said this would be possible if the authority over provincial jails will be transferred from provincial governments to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), an attached agency of the DILG.
“We only send to them (Bureau of Corrections) the hardened criminals that need maximum security,” he said in an interview on ABS-CBN News Channel.
“Those that are convicted for lesser crimes, maybe six years, they can now be transferred to provincial jails if they are under the BJMP,” he explained.
Malaya said that according to studies, it is more ideal to the welfare of persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) to be detained in facilities that are closer to home.
He said that many families based in provinces will have a hard time traveling to Muntinlupa City due to transportation costs.
Senator Franklin Drilon earlier proposed the integration of all provincial jails to the BJMP.
Malaya said the DILG supports this, citing the need to revise the currently “dysfunctional penal system” in the country.
He said provincial governments of different economic status enforce different standards in managing provincial jails.
There are three entities that handle the penal system in the country: provincial governments for provincial jails, the BJMP for city and district jails, and the Bureau of Corrections for seven penal colonies, including the NBP.
A PDL who has not yet been convicted of a crime can either go to district or provincial jails, based on the decision of the judge handling the case, said Malaya.
He added that once the case is resolved and the prison sentence recommended for the person convicted of a crime is three years or less, he can ultimately be brought to district or provincial jails. If the prison sentence is more than three years, the convict will be turned over to BuCor.
Aside from transferring PDLs from BuCor to provincial jails, Malaya said regionalizing BuCor will also be a good idea to decongest penal facilities.
“But that will take some time because we need to buy the land, we need to build the corrections facility.” he said. /gsg
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