PDLs, staff in Luzon safe from typhoon, BJMP assures

Published November 1, 2020, 7:35 AM

by Chito Chavez

The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) assured Sunday that all the persons deprived of liberty (PDL) and its personnel are safe as the bureau’s Luzon-based jail facilities were placed on red alert status due to the onslaught of typhoon “Rolly.”

BJMP Jail Director Allan Iral ordered all the heads of the regional, district, city, and municipal jails in Luzon to secure their jail facilities from the strong winds and heavy rains brought by the typhoon.

“We issued a series of advisories ahead to our field units to prepare for typhoon Rolly,” Iral said.

He noted that the BJMP National Headquarters has also “set up 24/7 monitoring teams to monitor our units and facilities in the ground.’’

The BJMP chief added that the operational plans of jails located in low-lying areas are ‘’on-deck and ready for activation, including other contingency measures, should water levels rise in their surrounding communities.’’  

“Recently, jails’ vulnerability during typhoons prompted students from the Ateneo School of Government (ASOG) to study reducing the impacts of hydrometeorological hazards on jails and persons deprived of liberty,’’ the BJMP said.

The BJMP revealed the policy paper under the supervision of Dr. Cory Naz and Prof. Chito Novales focused on the main challenges of how to mitigate the impact of hydrometeorological hazards with the BJMP jails in the Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, and Valenzuela area as its pilot area of study. 

 “According to studies, hydrometeorological events such as typhoons and floods account for over 80 percent of the natural disasters in the country during the last half-century. It is vital that we continue to help the jail management sector with timely, feasible, and high-impact recommendations to mitigate the risks in their facilities located in disaster-prone areas,” Iral added.   

Iral also cited the importance of the academic community like ASOG to support “us in this particular endeavor.’’

Last 2019, graduating students from the UP NCPAG also conducted an exploratory study on the PDL’s participation in disaster preparedness and response in jails for their thesis.  Meanwhile, BJMP Director for Operations Jail Senior Supt. Ma. Annie Espinosa led the coordination and inspection of jail facilities in the path of Rolly to ensure the operational readiness of the jail units and its personnel.