BuCor needs P205B to decongest facilities by 2028
The Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) will need more money to fully implement its five-year development and modernization plan in order to ease the over congestion and alleviate the suffering of persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) in its current seven prisons and penal farms across the country.
Gregorio Catapang, director general of the BuCor, said on Thursday that the cost of the 2023–2028 plan for the prisons agency had ballooned to P205 billion—higher by P28 billion from the P177-billion price tag he announced back in March.
In a statement, the BuCor said the increase was for the additional facilities in the program, including the living quarters for BuCor personnel for each of the new prison facilities to be constructed, as well as a separate facility for female PDLs.The medium-term program includes the construction and rehabilitation of five of the seven current operating prisons, namely: Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan; Sablayan PPF in Occidental Mindoro; San Ramon PPF in Zamboanga City; Leyte Regional Prison in Abuyog; and the Davao Prison and Penal Farm in Panabo City.
To fund the BuCor’s ambitious program, it would need to shut down the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City and convert part of the NBP Reservation into what Catapang dubbed as the BuCor Global City, which will serve as a government center and lease parts of it to private entities to generate funds for the national government and its long-term program entailing P400 billion.
Part of the long-term program was the construction of BuCor facilities—one for male and one for female PDLs—in all 16 regions of the country, except the National Capital Region, to decongest the seven prisons and penal farms currently housing more than 51,000 PDLs.