Overcrowding in Bilibid stands at 358 percent, says BuCor
MANILA, Philippines — Despite the decongestion efforts at the national penitentiary, the rate of overcrowding in the facility is still at 358 percent.
This staggering figure is based on the new statistics provided by Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) on Monday.
Previous record on October 31 showed there were 29,811 persons deprived of liberties (PDL) or inmates in New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa city.
On November 30, the number went down to 29,442 as of November 30.
However, this volume is still far from the appropriate size.
The capacity of Bilibid is only for 6,435 prisoners.
NBP has an actual floor area of 30,246 square meters.
“Compared to other countries, talagang congested tayo. Meron namang basis,” BuCor Director General Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. told reporters.
[Compared to other countries, we are definitely congested. There really was basis.]
He is reacting to observations that Bilibid is one of the worst mega prison facilities in the world.
Aside from Bilibid, BuCor is also manning six other penal facilities.
These are Correctional Institution for Women in Mandaluyong city, Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm in Palawan, Davao Prison and Penal Farm, San Ramon Prison and Penal Farm in Zambonga del Sur, Sablayan Prison and Penal Farm in Occidental Mindoro and Leyte Regional Prison.
The total capacity of Bilibid and the six other penal institutions should only be at 12,272.
But as of November 30, 2023, these seven facilities have a total of 51,862 inmate population.
This week, a National Jail Decongestion Summit will be conducted by Justice Sector Coordinating Council (JSCC).
The event will be led by Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla and Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr.
The summit is meant to bring together stakeholders to come up with a solution to address overcrowding in jails.