Bishop urges gov't to expedite jail decongestion amid extreme heat

Bishop urges gov’t to expedite jail decongestion amid extreme heat

By: - Reporter / @zacariansINQ
/ 04:46 PM April 23, 2024

MANILA, Philippines — The Catholic Church’s prison ministry arm on Tuesday called on the government to expedite the decongestion of jails amid the increasing heat index across the country.

According to Commission on Prison Pastoral Care (ECPPC) chairman bishop Oscar Jaime Florencio, relevant agencies should prioritize decongesting jails due to the overcrowding in correctional facilities.

READ: Overcrowding in Bilibid stands at 358 percent, says BuCor


Florencio said that “the best and long-lasting solution” to the overcrowding is the implementation of existing policies.


He enumerated such policies as the laws on bail and release on recognizance, the pretrial release program, and the recent Supreme Court ruling on extending the good conduct time allowance privilege even to those who committed heinous crimes.

“With this, we believe the jails and prison facilities will become less congested and hence more habitable,” Florencio said in a statement released by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.

READ: Quezon City starts transferring inmates

The heat index, or the temperature felt with the contribution of humidity, has been consistently reaching dangerously high levels above 42 degrees Celsius in recent weeks.

The state weather bureau automatically considers heat indexes ranging from 42 degrees Celsius to 51 degrees Celsius part of the “danger category” and warned that it may lead to various heat-related illnesses such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and even heat stroke during continued exposure.

Meanwhile, the ECPPC said its volunteers in the dioceses have already begun assisting jail personnel by providing basic needs such as electric and exhaust fans in some jails.

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TAGS: Catholic Church, heat index, jail decongestion

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