Angono to expand detention facility to relieve congestion, avoid COVID-19

Published July 3, 2020, 4:24 PM

by Nel Andrade

ANGONO, Rizal-  With a female detainee at a lock-up facility having tested positive for COVID-19 recently, the municipal government here is fast-tracking the construction of a new detention cell to address the problems brought about by congestion in police detention cells.

Authorities check the quarantine passes of those entering the Angono Public Market in Angono, Rizal as strict health protocols are implemented in the town. (Photo courtesy of Angono Rizal News Online Facebook page/MANILA BULLETIN)

Clodualo “Alan” Maniaol, chief of staff of Mayor Jeri Mae Calderon, told Manila Bulletin that although the plan to expand the lock-up jail facility at the police station was discussed way back at the start of the enhanced community quarantine in mid-March, the present situation of an inmate in the facility confirmed to be positive for the coronavirus has made the need for the new detention cell urgent. 

Maniaol said the construction of the extension of the lock-up jail, which is located within the municipal police station building, is targeted to be finished in about two weeks.

Earlier, Mayor Calderon, in her virtual address to her constituents over Facebook, said that a female detainee, who is a cancer patient, has become Patient No. 25 when her swab test turned positive. 

Lt. Col. Rodolfo Santiago, II, chief of the Angono Police Station, told Manila Bulletin that the female inmate, prior to getting the test result of her swab test, used to visit a hospital due to her health condition.

Santiago said the present lock-up facility is being occupied by some 300 persons, a number that makes the detention facility too congested.

The local government also revealed that three other inmates subjected to rapid testing earlier this week were found to be positive. The inmates have been isolated in separate detention cells, according to Santiago.

The police chief also added that since March, the police station has disallowed the visitation of detainees as part of the measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The local government has since ordered the mandatory rapid testing of all incoming and outgoing detainees in the police lock-up facility, based on Mayor Calderon’s Executive Order No. 2020-25.

Restrictions on visiting public market

Meanwhile, the municipal government reminds residents to strictly follow the guidelines and health protocols mandated by the government to curb the  spread of the coronavirus.Among the measures to address problems on social distancing is the implementation of the “no-quarantine pass, no entry” policy in the public market. 
Residents and non-residents are also required to follow the existing barangay coding system that restricts quarantine pass holders from visiting the public market and the establishments in its vicinity on certain days. 
According to the municipal information office, the town has 29 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 13 recoveries, and five deaths.