Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Catalino S. Cuy does not want to hear about drug trade and prison breaks in jails under the supervision of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) as professionalism and the push for a well-improved BJMP continues.
This is the challenge posed by OIC Cuy to the newly sworn BJMP Acting Chief, Deogracias C. Tapayan, replacing Jail Director Serafin P. Barretto Jr., who reached the 56-year old mandatory retirement age.
“We have initiated steps within the Bureau to make sure that we play our role in the government’s anti-drug campaign,” says Cuy.
He says that the BJMP has a heavy task in the drug campaign, aside from just stopping the proliferation of drugs inside the jail facilities.
“The BJMP, being a member of the newly-formed Inter-Agency Council against Illegal Drugs (ICAD) has a vital role in curbing the problem”, Cuy says, adding that he is confident that this is a doable task under the newly installed Acting Chief.
“Congestion is a real concern since the number of inmates swelled when the drug campaign started,” he says.
He adds that “we encourage na magkaroon ng extension ang mga jail facilities, provided there are available space” as a way of addressing congestion.
He encourages all jail officers to ‘present their list of needs to their congressmen or the senators so that they become aware of the situation, whether in the number of personnel or equippage.’
“By this time, dapat aware na tayo that hardcore inmates should be segregated from those who are not,” Cuy adds, citing the case of Kerwin Espinosa who learned about the ropes of the drug industry while he was in prison.
He also expresses his trust on DILG Assistant Secretary Nestor F. Quinsay, Jr., overseer of BJMP and the BFP, that “the concerns of both Bureaus will be addressed accordingly”.
Meanwhile, Quinsay assures that aside from decongestion efforts, welfare programs for inmates as well as Bureau personnel are being planned and implemented.
“Our jails are not dead-ends but a place in preparation for a new beginning for detainees when they get back to the normal stream of society,” he says.
Cuy and Quinsay led the Bureau’s turnover and retirement honors ceremony at BJMP National Headquarters in Mindanao Avenue, Quezon City on Wednesday.
New BJMP Acting Chief Tapayan will be leading the BJMP’s 12,183 personnel in taking care of 149,331 inmates confined in 466 jails and with a nationwide congestion rate of 615 percent.
He is a member of Philippine National Police Academy Class of 1986 and hails from Dipolog City. (DILG-PR)