By Chito Chavez
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) described as worth emulating the surprise drug test conducted on the personnel and wardens of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) in the National Capital Region (NCR).
DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año said the regional office was “setting a good example of not showing letup in its commitment to the anti-illegal drugs agenda of the government.”
He urged all of the jail bureaus nationwide to follow suit and support the President’s campaign against illegal drugs.
BJMP-NCR Regional Director Chief Supt. Ignacio Panti ordered the surprise drug test during the monthly wardens’ conference held at the BJMP-NCR Headquarters in Quezon City.
He said it was to ensure “that it is indeed a surprise drug testing and that officials and personnel would be present’’.
A total of 63 officials and wardens have undergone the test administered by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)’s Laboratory Service Examination Division.
“The proliferation of illegal drugs and contrabands in prisons cells in Metro Manila is an endemic issue which entails uncompromising and firm leadership of the jail bureau. The conduct of the surprise drug test proves the integrity of the bureau’s officers and warden in this cause,” Año said.
The BJMP-NCR would also conduct a similar “drug testing among their personnel manning its jails to make sure that their facilities are 100 percent drug-cleared’’.
Año explained that for a jail facility to be marked as drug-free, it has to comply with the standards and requirements set by agencies such as PDEA and the Philippine National Police (PNP).
According to BJMP, the conduct of random-drug tests among inmates and jail personnel, jail-based intervention program on anti-illegal drugs, and the absence of any illegal drugs paraphernalia in the facility are some of the parameters used to declare a jail facility drug-free.
Año disclosed that a memorandum of agreement between the PDEA and BJMP has been inked for the conduct of regular drug-clearing operations in all city and municipal jails in the country.
He also noted BJMP-NCR has regularly conducted “Oplan Greyhound.”
The DILG Chief also reminded the jail wardens and officials in all regional offices of the BJMP “to conduct clean-up drive in all of their jail facilities to prevent Persons Deprived of Liberties (PDLs) from getting sick due to dengue and other diseases’’.
He noted the DILG is firmly bent towards reforming the management of the jail bureau.
On Monday, the DILG and the Department of Justice signed and issued the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act 10592 or the Good Conduct Time Allowance Law.