COA questions BuCor over serving measly, unhealthy meals for inmates
COA questions BuCor over serving measly, unhealthy meals for inmates
COA questions BuCor over serving measly, unhealthy meals for inmates
by Mary Antalan04 August 2023
Photo courtesy: BuCor Facebook page

The Commission on Audit (COA) questioned the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) for serving measly and unhealthy meals to the inmates of the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) and Correctional Institution for Women (CIW).

"Meals provided to inmates at the NBP and CIW were not in accordance with the Food Subsistence Agreement (FSA) due to failure of the Food Inspection Committee to monitor its implementation," the COA stated in its 2022 annual audit report on BuCor.

According to the state auditors, P1.264 billion of the P5.264 billion budget of BuCor in 2023 was allocated for 49,481 presumptive inmates.

A review of the records of meals served to inmates from June to December 2022 showed that caterers Aurora Sumulong Eatery and Mang Kiko Catering Services went outside of what was predetermined by the FSA.

COA said that the BuCor nutritionist and the NBP supervisor allegedly did not approve adjustments to the menu, in breach of Section 8.3 of the FSA for 2022.

"The failure to comply with the required approval prior to substitution of meals may result in serving meals that are not nutritionally appropriate for inmates since the meals were not assessed by the BuCor nutritionist based on the agreed 10-day-cycle menu," the state auditors said.

According to the COA's breakdown of the meals given to the inmates, there were times when they were only given bread and coffee in the morning instead of a breakfast of steamed rice and fruit.

For lunch on Day 3, the detainees were scheduled to receive "kare-kare" and boiling rice but instead they received "steamed rice and misua patola."

The supposed dinner of "pork asado with camote or saba and boiled rice" was changed to "steamed rice and adobong sitaw" on Day 4.

The menu plan's Day 9 dinner of "chicken afritada with carrots, potatoes, and boiled rice" was changed to "steamed rice and sardines."

Instead of receiving "pork sinigang and boiled rice" on Day 10, the prisoners received "steamed rice and mixed vegetables."

The COA claimed that the caterers also failed to provide the exact serving sizes of rice that were mandated by the FSA.

According to delivery receipts included with the disbursement vouchers, all of the inmates received just one cup of rice.

The state auditors said male detainees should be given two cups of steamed rice while female inmates should be given one and a half cups of rice in order to provide every inmate with the required 2,000 kilocalories per day.

The BuCor said the COA's concern "under investigation."

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