Año commends BJMP for jail decongestion efforts

By Chito Chavez

Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo M. Año commended the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) for its sustained drive in decongesting its manned jail facilities and for strengthening its capability development.

DILG officer-in-charge Eduardo M. Año (DILG / MANILA BULLETIN) DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año (DILG / MANILA BULLETIN)

“BJMP has always been at the forefront in providing humane treatment to persons deprived of liberty and what is valuable for this agency is that BJMP keeps on finding reformative approaches to transform them,” Año said.

Año has recognized the BJMP for living up to great odds “as it has faced the challenges of the previous year with a number of success stories.”

“Worth noting is the decongestion efforts which has significantly recorded a decrease on the national congestion rate of more than 120 percent from its previous record of 612 percent on December 2017 to 488 percent on November 2018,’’ he added.

BJMP spokesman, Chief Inspector Xavier Solda, said a notable measure undertaken by the BJMP to address the problem of congestion is “to prioritize the infrastructure projects’’ under its fold.

He noted that 188 jail facilities are set for expansion this year while an additional 60 jail buildings and 13 additional perimeter fences are being expedited to decongest the BJMP-manned jails nationwide.

Año also encouraged the agency to focus not only on the improvement of physical structures but more on capability-building and delivery of efficient services in order to provide quality jail management service for persons deprived of liberty (PDL).

The DILG chief also directed the BJMP and its regional directors to strengthen its recruitment strategy with emphasis on the applicant’s knowledge, skills, and character.

He also reiterated the importance of strict and impartial cleansing among BJMP personnel as he avowed that the DILG “will not be lenient to those with infractions or illegal drug activities.’’

“There is no room for personnel that misfits our organization. As public servants, I expect you to be at your best form,” Año added.

Año has further boosted the operational readiness of the agency through the modernization of BJMP Star Team including its tactical gears procurement.

In response, BJMP Chief Director Deogracias Tapayan assured the continuity of programs particularly on internal cleansing and decongestion through various modes of releases.

He also asked the regional directors to put premium to jail security in relation to prevention of entry of contrabands.

“We will not stop until all jails will be declared drug-free, contraband-free, and our PDL were provided with responsive programs that could ensure their rehabilitation while under our care,” Tapayan emphasized.

According to Tapayan, based on BJMP records, at least 89 percent of 476 jails are now PDEA-certified, drug-free facilities.

Año, on the other hand, commended the nationwide implementation of Joint Greyhound Operations with other law enforcement agencies such as PNP and PDEA which improves the security management of BJMP facilities.