Solons seeks to build more prisons to decongest Bilibid, other jails
MANILA, Philippines — Davao City representative Paolo Duterte filed a proposal to build more regional penal farms to decongest the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) on Friday.
The measure also covers other correctional facilities under the Bureau of Correction (BuCor).
House Bill number 8071, or the Regional Penitentiaries Act bill, was co-authored by Benguet representative Eric Yap and ACT-CIS party-list representative Edvic Yap.
“The Constitution vehemently opposes the use of substandard or inadequate penal facilities under sub-human conditions. Despite the (said) mandate, there are only seven existing correctional facilities in the country which are under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Corrections,” Duterte said in the bill.
“Moreover, many of the country’s jails fail to meet the minimum United Nations standards, given the jails’ cases of inadequate food, poor nutrition, and unsanitary conditions, according to Human Rights Watch,” Eric Yap added in a statement.
The bill proposes to build penal farms in 11 different regions, namely Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Bicol, Western Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Soccsksargen, Caraga, and Cordillera Administrative Region.
The measure is meant to decongest penal institutions to accommodate the “increasing number of inmates committed to the BuCor, and giving due credence to the right to decent accommodations of the country’s prisoners.”
BuCor has been releasing the so-called ‘persons deprived of liberty’ to reduce overcrowding in its facilities.
To date, about 4,000 prisoners have been released under the administration of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.