BJMP says e-dalaw still allowed despite return of in-person visits
MANILA, Philippines — Relatives of inmates, or persons deprived of liberty (PDLs), can still do online visitation even as the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) now allows in-person visits, bureau spokesperson Jail Supt. Xavier Solda said on Wednesday.
During an interview with the Laging Handa Public Briefing on Wednesday, Solda said they had expanded their electronic visitations so that people who cannot afford physical visits due to distance, time, and monetary constraints can still bond with their relatives detained in jail facilities.
“In fact nag-expand tayo ng ating electronic visitation ‘no, iyong mga facilities nagdagdag tayo ng mga communication device para mas ma-accommodate ang ibang mga PDL natin,” Solda said.
(In fact we expanded our electronic visitation, and we added communication devices in our facilities to accommodate our other PDLs.)
“Kasi iniisip natin, lalo na iyong mga nakatira ang pamilya sa malalayong probinsiya or bayan, kaysa gastusin pa nila sa pamasahe, puwede naman silang magpa-schedule for the electronic visitation or e-dalaw,” he added.
(Because we’re thinking of people whose families live in far-flung areas or provinces, instead of spending huge money for transportation, they can opt to schedule for the electronic visitation or e-dalaw.)
And for those who would visit their PDL relatives physically, Solda said the BJMP has maintained strict guidelines to avoid COVID-19 transmissions — like asking unvaccinated visitors to get an RT-PCR test within 72 hours before the date of the visit, or an antigen within 24 hours from the date of visit.
“Well unang-una, hindi ho nagbabago ang mahigpit na implementation ng health and security protocols ho sa mga BJMP facilities. Kaya lang since nag-resume na ho tayo – na contact visitation – may additional requirements lamang, at isa na nga ang pinakamahalaga diyan is iyong mga dadalaw ay dapat ho bakunado ‘no. Dapat ho magdala ho sila ng ID or proof na sila ho ay nabakunahan,” he said.
(Well, the strict implementation of health and security protocols inside BJMP facilities has not changed. But since we are resuming physical visits, there are additional requirements, and one of the most important things is that visitors should be vaccinated. They should bring IDs to prove that they are vaccinated.)
“Ngayon for some reason, iyong iba ho for health reasons or religious beliefs hindi ho sila nagpabakuna – kakailanganin ho nila na magdala ng negative na resulta ng RT-PCRs within 72 hours ‘no noong kanilang pagbisita at within 24 hours naman kung resulta na negative sa antigen test,” he added.
(If, for some reason, some would have health reasons or religious beliefs which prevent them from getting vaccinated, they should bring a negative RT-PCR test result within 72 hours of the date of their visit and 24 hours if they are getting a negative antigen test.)
BJMP earlier announced that in-person visitation is now allowed, two years since the COVID-19 pandemic forced PDLs to see their relatives only through online videoconferencing.
READ: BJMP resumes inmate visitations for Christmas
Solda assured that the BJMP would make adjustments for jail facilities that are crowded, to accommodate the requests of each PDL.
“We have 478 district, city and municipal jails across the country. But the point of consideration here, of course, is the available space for our jails for the conduct of the face-to-face visitation or contact visitation,” he said.
“Because there are facilities that are really congested, so we would have adjustments when it comes to visits in our facilities because we cannot have it all at once. But all the PDLs, their visit requests would be accommodated,” he added.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.