Bilibid eyed as biggest park in Metro Manila | Inquirer News

Bilibid eyed as biggest park in Metro Manila

By: - Reporter / @dexcabalzaINQ
/ 05:50 AM November 24, 2023

New Bilibid Prison

The Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City. (INQUIRER file photo)

The Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) is planning to convert a portion of the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) reservation in Muntinlupa City into a nature park, which they described as similar to Central Park in New York City, to add more to its value when it shuts down the national penitentiary in 2028.

In a statement on Wednesday, BuCor Director General Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. said that Justice Secretary Crispin Remulla wanted the 100 hectares (ha) of the 367 ha of NBP Reservation to be made an open park.


Meanwhile, the remaining land would be used for a mixed-use space to house a government center in the southern metro and lease parts to private entities to generate funds for the national government.


In September, BuCor allotted 10 ha of its idle NBP land for vegetable production in partnership with the Department of Agriculture. The NBP park would be the biggest urban park in the National Capital Region (NCR).

It would be even bigger than the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center in Quezon City, with an area of 65 ha, and Rizal Park occupying 54 ha of Manila’s land, two of the biggest government-maintained parks in the metro.

Central to BuCor’s P205-billion, five-year plan was to close down NBP in 2028 and transfer it to another site outside of Metro Manila. The plan also aims to construct a prison facility in each of the country’s 17 regions, except the NCR, to decongest the current seven prisons and penal farms currently housing more than 51,000 inmates.

Under a law signed in 2022, the BuCor also needs to build a separate facility for convicts of heinous crimes, which was set to be at Fort Magsaysay Military Reservation in Palayan City, Nueva Ecija for Luzon, Camp Macario B. Palta in Jamindan, Capiz for Visayas and Camp Kibaritan, Kalimantan in Bukidnon for Mindanao.

While plans for the park are still being finalized, the BuCor opened its door to use NBP’s “sunken garden” as a training ground for Football Club Bilibid, a team composed of underprivileged children and children of persons deprived of liberty (PDL).

It was an outreach program of King of the Blues, made up of alumni from the Ateneo de Manila from batch ’67 Grade School, ’71 High School and ’75 College.


According to Catapang, he was “touched” that a simple gesture of BuCor to allow them to use its sunken garden to train FCB would mean so much for the PDLs’ kids.

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TAGS: Bilibid, Bucor, park

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