Inmates’ kin can now order food delivery to Bilibid
Persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) at New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City can now satisfy their food cravings as they are allowed to accept deliveries through online apps like GrabFood and FoodPanda.
But they cannot do the clicking themselves.
NBP superintendent Angelina Bautista on Wednesday said since PDLs have no access to smartphones, only their family members or some Good Samaritans outside could place the orders for them.
“Their families will message the PDLs through their e-dalaw (electronic visitation) sessions,” said Bautista, who also serves as the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) OIC deputy director general for operations.
The bureau cited the lack of government resources to adequately feed the more than 30,000 PDLs at NBP, considered the largest megaprison in the world.
Delivery riders need not go inside the NBP. There is an outpost provided for delivered items that would be subjected to routine inspection. This is similar to food products coursed through “paabot” system, or sending of items to inmates, usually food or medicine, by visiting relatives or family members.
Bautista said not only family members can send food but also organizations that want to help PDLs, considering the P70 daily subsistence allowance for inmates would not be enough to cover three meals a day.
BuCor chief Director General Gregorio Catapang Jr. acknowledged that there have been instances where different contraband items, including illegal drugs, had been intercepted from food deliveries.
“We don’t announce them so the PDLs and their families won’t be alarmed. But we already know their ‘modus operandi’ and we’ve stopped them,” he said.
He added allowing online food deliveries is part of the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, or the Nelson Mandela Rules, which state that every PDL shall be provided by the prison administration at the usual hours with food of nutritional value adequate for health and strength, of wholesome quality and well prepared and served.
BuCor is also asking the national government to increase the PDLs’ daily food allowance from P70 to P100.
The Commission on Audit last year reported that BuCor’s contracted caterer served food of “lesser nutritional value” and of “lesser quantity” than the agreed ration. Pork was also served to Muslim and Seventh Day Adventist PDLs, which are prohibited in their religion.