DILG sa DZRH Breaktime: PHL gov't works to resolve prison overcrowding
DILG sa DZRH Breaktime: PHL gov't works to resolve prison overcrowding
DILG sa DZRH Breaktime: PHL gov't works to resolve prison overcrowding
by Kristan Carag08 December 2023
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The Philippine government continues to take steps to address prison overcrowding in the country.

Supreme Court Associate Justice Jaime Fortunato Caringal stressed on Wednesday, Nov. 29, that the problem affects the health of persons deprived of liberty (PDLs)

"Because of overcrowding nagkakaroon sila ng sakit at iba't ibang condition," Caringal said during DILG sa DZRH Breaktime.

JCInsp. Jayrex Bustinera, officer-in-charge of Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) Community Relations Service Office, said that communicable diseases, and skin diseases easily spread in overcrowded jail facilities.


Bustinera described tuberculosis as the most common disease among inmates.

The BJMP official assured that the agency coordinates with the Department of Health to address the spread of tuberculosis, and other illnesses in other jail facilities.

Bustinera mentioned that prison overcrowding also deteriorates the psychological and mental well-being of detainees, which could result to riots.

"Isolated case na lang pero tinitignan din natin na effect iyan ng congestion kasi yung condition nila, yung environment nila ay nagpro-promote ng ganoon. Nabuburyong kung tawag natin," he explained.


Caringal highlighted the need to hasten the release of inmates, especially those who have already finished serving their sentence but continue to remain in detention, in order to decongest prisons.

"Madami diyan ay matagal ng nakakulong na dapat pala ay malaya na. For one reason or the other, hindi na-aksyunan o hindi sila napapalaya kaagad. Isa ito sa dapat tutukan at dapat bigyan ng solution," he said.

The Supreme Court Associate Justice assured that the government has implemented reforms to decongest prisons, including continuous trial of criminal cases that ensures that courts can render judgement on a case within a year.

"Dati kasi walang limitation kung gaano katagal mag-present ng evidence ang prosecution o piskalya at ang akusado. Talagang napapatagal sila sa kulungan habang hinihintay yung kaso nila," Caringal said.


"Ngayon because of these new rules, yung continuous trial, tatlong buwan na lang yung binibigay sa piskalya, tatlong buwan na lang ang binibigay sa akusado. Talagang matatapos ang kaso within one year," he added.

Caringal said that inmates also no longer need to wait for their release order, and can taste freedom once they finish serving their sentence.

"Dati kasi ang hinihintay ng mga jail warden bago nila i-release ay ang release order ng mga akusado. Ngayon hindi na iyan required. Kapag na-serve na niya yung maximum penalty, dapat i-release na kaagad," he stressed.

Bustiner also mentioned that Good Conduct Time Allowance shortens the sentence of qualified PDLs.

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