Solons want BJMP, BuCor’s records system to go digital
MANILA, Philippines — A bill seeking to digitize prison records of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) and the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) has been filed by six lawmakers from the House of Representatives.
House Bill No. 9194 or the proposed Digital Prison Record System Act, authored by presidential son and Ilocos Norte 1st District Rep. Ferdinand Alexander Marcos and five others, seeks to create a system where information about inmates or persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) can be managed or shared.
The bill, which was filed last September 18, was co-authored by the following lawmakers:
- Pinuno party-list Rep. Ivan Howard Guintu
- Caloocan City 3rd District Rep. Dean Asistio
- Isabela 6th District Rep. Faustino “Inno” Dy V
- Quezon City 2nd District Rep. Ralph Wendel Tulfo
- Agimat party-list Rep. Bryan Revilla
If enacted, the system would allow law enforcement agencies and appropriate court personnel to view the information about the PDLs.
According to the bill’s authors, such a system would help in dispensing justice to PDLs, as law enforcers and courts can quickly access files of inmates and thereafter make the dispensing of pending cases more efficient.
“This proposed legislative measure seeks to apply these technological advancements to the record management of correctional and detention facilities by establishing a Digital Prison Records System, a computerized system designed to store, manage and share information related to [PDLs], their cases, relevant court records and other related matters,” the bill’s explanatory note read.
“The digitalization of the records of PDLs will greatly help towards a swifter administration of justice, as the courts, the legal counsels of PDLs and other relevant parties can efficiently and readily access relevant records pertaining to PDLs and thereby promoting efficiency in the management of pending cases as well as transparency in detention and correctional facilities,” it added.
A training period would be conducted, should the bill be enacted, to ensure that BJMP and BuCor personnel would be knowledgeable about the system.
“The Bucor and the BJMP shall conduct regular training programs to equip authorized personnel with the skills and knowledge required for the efficient utilization of the System,” the bill’s Section 6 read.
Both the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) — parent agencies of the BJMP and the BuCor, respectively — have tried in the past to initiate digitization efforts on their own.
Last July 2022, both Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos Jr. and Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla assured the public that they are pushing for the digitization of records in their departments to streamline information and fast-track processes related to the country’s justice system.
Such a move, they said, would speed up the processing of PDLs with pending cases and eventually decongest detention facilities.
During that time, the Commission on Audit said that BJMP and BuCor have congestion rates of 387 percent and 330 percent, respectively, resulting in unhealthy living conditions for PDLs.