By MB Online
The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) on Sunday said it agrees on all efforts to decongest the jails in the country as some of its inmates and staff have been infected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“As far as the BJMP is concerned, we agree on all efforts to decongest our jails,” BJMP spokesperson Chief Insp. Xavier Solda said in an interview with ANC Headstart.
Solda cited that the 468 jail facilities in the country have more than 500 percent congestion rate.
“It’s just that our mandate is for the safekeeping and development only. We are the agency who’s handling custodial functions,” he said.
“We cannot just release them (inmates) without court orders,” Solda pointed out.
The BJMP confirmed last April 17, Friday that the Quezon City Jail has nine personnel and nine persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) who have been tested positive with COVID-19.
Construction of additional cells and jail buildings are being done to address the problem, Solda said.
The BJMP has also set up isolation areas for PDLs showing symptoms of COVID-19.
Solda, meanwhile, assured that precautionary measures against COVID-19 are strictly observed inside the BJMP such as wearing face masks for the both PDLs and personnel, regular thermal scanning, continuous health monitoring, and regular disinfection in their facilities.
Solda said all BJMP personnel infected with COVID-19 are so far doing well but are still under close monitoring.
As of Saturday, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country has reached 6,087. Of those, 397 died and 516 recovered.