Ashfall inside New Bilibid Prison ‘light and manegeable’
MANILA, Philippines –Returnees sleeping in a covered court inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) were not spared from the ashfall from Taal Volcano although officials described it as “light and manageable.”
Taal Volcano’s lava fountain has weakened as of Monday evening according to specialists from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) who added that it is not a sign that volcanic activities are slowing down and is now safe again.
The Department of Health (DOH) has already issued a warning on the health risks of exposure to volcanic ash.
Justice Undersecretary for Corrections Deo Marco said he was informed by Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Gerald Bantag that none of the persons deprived of liberties (PDLs) or inmates including returnees have been exposed “to the elements.”
The returnees are inmates who have been released based on Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) but were returned to the NBP following recomputation of their GCTA credits and after call for their surrender was made by President Rodrigo Duterte.
“I asked if they need any help but for now they just need to do a lot of cleaning. No reports of problems or health-related issues as of now,” Marco told Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra. BuCor is an attached agency of the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Guevarra said the returnees are being accommodated in a covered court with enough beddings including mosquito nets and blankets.
Currently, there are 410 returnees at the NBP and 24 at the Correctional Institute for Women (CIW).
Bantag, on the other hand, ordered all superintendents and staff to be on standby round-the-clock to ensure the safety of everyone in the prison facilities.
“The PDLs have adequate accommodation inside the camps to protect them from such elements. If needed, partnerships with local hospitals may provide needed medical attention for worst-case scenarios,” said Bantag in his report sent to Guevarra.
Edited by MUF
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