DILG backs bid to integrate provincial jails to BJMP

Robie de Guzman   •   September 11, 2019   •   496

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has expressed full support to the proposal to integrate all provincial jails to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) to “professionalize and standardize the management of jails at the local level.”

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon made the proposal in a bid to put up national and local jail systems under the Department of Justice and Bureau of Corrections and the DILG and BJMP, respectively.

“We fully support Senator Drilon’s proposal to bring all provincial jails into our fold at the BJMP because this will not only standardize policies and rules in managing jails but will also ensure that local jails are manned by highly-trained and competent jail personnel,”DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said in a statement.

Año said some jails managed by local government units (LGUs) usually employ ill-trained, ill-equipped personnel and lack adequate facilities making them prone to escapes.

“I am confident that with BJMP’s competence in managing jails and with its professional corps of uniformed jail officers, prison break incidents in provincial jails will be substantially reduced,”he said.

The DILG chief also believes that the transfer of provincial jails to BJMP will also be advantageous to local governments as they will not anymore worry about issues like riots, jailbreaks, salaries of local jail personnel, and meals for the persons deprived of liberty.

BJMP records show that there are 74 provincial jails nationwide. Thirteen of these jails are now being supervised and manned by the BJMP by virtue of a memorandum of agreement between the LGUs and the provincial governments. Meanwhile, seven provinces have no provincial jails.

If the 61 provincial jails with a total population of 32,940 will be turned over to the BJMP, Año said they will need to hire and train additional 14,573 officers to man these jails.

Año cited the Republic Act No. 6975 which mandates the Jail Bureau to take operational and administrative control over all city, district and municipal jails. Under the Local Government Code, however, provincial and sub-provincial jails are under the management and control of the Provincial Governments making for a disjointed local jail system.

Heinous crime penitentiary

The DILG chief also supports the proposal to create a Heinous Crimes Penitentiary (HCP) facility in the Philippines to purge the National Bilibid Prison (NBP) of high-risk criminals.

Mabuti po iyon para mas mabantayan natin iyong mga illegal drug lords, CPP-NPA at terrorist groups,” Año said during the presentation of the proposed DILG 2020 budget to the Senate Committee on Finance.

Some senators earlier pushed for the creation of an ‘Alcatraz-like prison’ for convicted heinous criminals. The facility is being eyed to be set up in Palawan near the West Philippine Sea where face-to-face visitation with families will no longer be allowed.

“We strongly support your proposed bill to serve as a deterrent for criminals from further committing such heinous acts,” said Año.

Only 8 barangays in Tagaytay under mandatory evacuation, DILG clarifies

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 21, 2020

The Department of the Inteior and Local Government (DILG) has clarified that only eight barangays are covered by the mandatory evacuation.

In a statement, the DILG said the order to implement a mandatory evacuation in eight barangays in Tagaytay City is based on the recommendation of the Philippine Institute for Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS).

“Both the DILG and NDRRMC acted upon the strong representations of the PHIVOLCS that these barangays are susceptible to volcanic tsunami, ballistic projectiles, and base surge. So, as early as Monday, we already issued the mandatory evacuation order,” said DILG undersecretary and spokesperson, Jonathan Malaya.

The eight barangays from Tagaytay are Bagong Tubig, Kaybagal South (Pob)., Maharlika West, Sambong, San Jose, Silang Junction South, Maharlika East, and Tolentino East.

“We are not the scientific experts here, its the DOST. So, until and unless PHIVOLCS removes these eight barangays from the list of susceptible barangays, the DILG has no choice but to insist that mandatory evacuation should be implemented immediately,” he added.

Malaya reiterated that the mandatory evacuation does not cover all barangays in Tagaytay City. He also said that business establishments in other areas in city may continue their operation.—AAC

98% of residents in 14-kilometer danger zone evacuated —DILG

Maris Federez   •   January 20, 2020

Sylvestre Barba (C) listens to a radio inside an evacuation center for citizens affected by the eruption of Taal Volcano in Santo Tomas, Batangas, Philippines, 15 January 2020. EPA-EFE/MARK CRISTINO

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) announced that authorities have evacuated almost all of the residents in the 14-kilometer radius danger zone of the Taal Volcano.

DILG Sec. Eduardo Año said they have already evacuated 98-percent of the residents as evacuation measures are still being done for those who have yet to respond to the government’s call to leave their homes.

Año thanked the police, military and other law enforcement agency personnel for maintaining order in the affected areas in lockdown and where total evacuation is being implemented.

The official also said that they have yet to receive reports of looting and that zero-casualty is being maintained in the affected areas of the Taal eruption.

“The three cases reported in media were mainly due to the pre-existing medical condition and not directly related to the eruption,” Año said. — (with details from Lea Ylagan) /mbmf

DILG: Business establishments in Tagaytay City still not allowed to operate

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 20, 2020

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said business establishments in Tagaytay City are still not allowed to operate due to the level 4 alert status in the Taal region.

The DILG said establishment who are caught operating within the 14-kilometer danger zone of the Taal volcano might have their business permit revoked or suspended.

“No commercial establishments until or unless this issue of alert level 4 has been downgraded,” according to DILG Undersecretary Epimaco Densing.

Densing also said that the DILG might coordinate with the Philippine National Police (PNP) to close establishments proven to be operating within the 14-kilometer danger zone.

Tourists are also discouraged to visit Tagaytay City.

“We are discouraging, actually, tourists or locals to go up to Tagaytay kasi nasa alert level 4. Mamaya pag-akyat nila baka sumabog, makakadagdag pa sila sa tutulungan o poprotektahan (because it is in alert level 4. It [volcano] might erupt and the tourist might be added to the people needed to be rescued),” he said.

READ: Danger remains as volcanic activities increase in Taal

Meanwhile, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHOVOLCS) said they cannot just lift or downgrade Alert Level 4 due to the possibility of a massive explosive eruption within hours or days remains high .—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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