By Chito Chavez
The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) in Metro Manila has strongly intensified need-based jail construction schemes to come up with responsive jail designs to minimize if not totally resolve the age-old cell congestion.
At present, the BJMP-National Capital Region (NCR) is manning 37,166 detainees in 42 jails recording a congestion rate of 609.75 percent.
BJMP- NCR Director Jail Chief Superintendent Ignacio S. Panti got the services of technical teams and experienced jail managers to do jail planning and design.
“Given the congested situation of the persons deprived of liberty under our care and from what we are experiencing, construction of additional jail facilities is really one of the best possible solutions”, said Panti.
Panti explained that the BJMP-NCR does not want “to simply construct a facility’’ saying that need-based jail cells should be built according to the sets of standards for jail facilities.
He also cited the huge support from the national government as a motivation in ensuring that the funding resource is properly utilized while avoiding dysfunctional constructions.
Chief Inspector Xavier Solda, BJMP spokesman, said the BJMP NCR is in the midst of conducting a Jail Planning and Design Activity for its construction projects next year through its Logistics Division.
Next month (October) the BJMP-NCR, the BJMP-NCR is ready to roll out the procurement for its infrastructure projects for FY 2019 following the construction brief from technical experts.
Jail Senior Inspector Crystalene Gonzales of the Logistics Division said with the pool of technical men the BJMP-NCR may consider the “type of facility to be constructed, the facilities for various jail services, needs in the facility and the level of security”.
“In these projects, we followed the critical components under the 2016 United Nations Office for Project Services Technical Guide for Planning and Design of Prisons as our model which put premium on optimization of resources during the concept design, detailed design, construction up to the utilization of these facilities to be constructed”, Gonzales said.