BuCor expands suspension of inmates' visitation rights | Inquirer News

BuCor expands suspension of inmates’ visitation rights

/ 04:07 PM March 13, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Correction (BuCor) has expanded the coverage of the suspension of visitation rights of inmates from the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa city and its six other penal colonies to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

“The Bureau of Corrections hereby raises the restriction on visits to the NBP and all operating prisons and penal farms in the country. In addition to the suspension of visitation privileges of all persons deprived of liberty under the bureau, visits from religious organizations, non-government organizations, foreign embassies, and consulates and other humanitarian, educational, business or political missions are also temporarily suspended inside the premises of all prison facilities,” BuCor Director General Gerald Bantag said.

The suspension of visitation rights for families and loved ones of inmates started on Wednesday, March 11, and will last for one week.


He said they are also limiting office processes including face to face transactions, meetings, conferences and interviews “starting today until further notice.”


“Doctors and lawyers visiting their PDLs clients may be allowed on a case to case basis and must undergo strict screening by BuCor medical staff before given access inside prisons,” he said.

The BuCor chief said families and loved ones of inmates may inquire about their condition in the meantime through text and viber at 09178046392 or email at [email protected].

Last Wednesday, a group of families and friends of political prisoners called on the government to release low-level offenders, political prisoners and the sick and elderly inmates to spare them from possible COVID-19 infection at the country’s congested prison facilities

KAPATID spokesperson Fides Lim said this would “avert the looming catastrophe of COVID-19” inside the prison facilities more than the lockouts currently done.

The NBP’ s maximum security compound alone houses more than 18,000 inmates.

Last year, both the BuCor and the BJMP admitted to a shortage of the number of medical personnel to tend to the needs of inmates.


Overall, the BuCor has only 13 doctors, including four at the NBP, plus 40 nurses.

BuCor jail facilities recorded a 302 percent congestion rate while those operated by the BJMP recorded a staggering 427 percent.

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Aside from the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) and the Correctional Institute for Women (CIW) in Mandaluyong, BuCor has also suspended visitation rights in its other penal institutions–Davao Prison and Penal Farm in Davao del Norte, Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm in Palawan, San Ramon Prison and Penal Farm in Zamboanga City, Sablayan Prison and Penal Farm in Occidental Mindoro, and the Leyte Regional Prison in Southern Leyte.


For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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TAGS: Bilibid, Bucor, Coronavirus, COVID-19

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