BUCOR needs P22.3 B funds to start modernization

April 23, 2023 Zaida I. Delos Reyes 150 views

AT least P22.3 billion funds will be needed to start the modernization, regionalization and restructuring of the Bureau of Corrections (BUCOR) to address congestion and make it a world-class standard, said BuCor Director General, Gregorio Pio P. Catapang Jr.

Catapang explained that Republic Act 10575, otherwise known as the Bureau of Corrections Act of 2023 provides for it while Republic Act 11928 enacted on July 30, 2022, provides for the establishment of a separate facility for persons deprived of liberty (PDL) convicted of heinous crimes and appropriating funds for the purpose.

He said although the total amount of P77.7 billion is needed from 2023-2028 for the construction of new facilities and rehabilitation of existing Prison and Penal farms, the P22.3 billion start up funds will go a long way.

The BuCor under the proposed 2023-2028 BuCor Development and Modernization Plan will establish addition regional prison facilites in Region 1- Ilocos Region, Region 2-Cagayan Valley, Region V – Bicol Region, Region VII – Central Visayas Region, Region XII-SOCCSKSARGEN, Region XIII- Caraga, qCordillera Administrative Region and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and convert it into food production centers.

Catapang explained that to be able to decongest the present seven regional prison and penal farms, they will reconfigure the prison cells into three categories or level offenders.

The first category is the High-risk where level 3 offenders are kept in a cell that can only accommodate two PDL inside. They are considered highly dangerous/ high risk security inmates as determined by the Classification Board who require a greater degree of security, control and supervision.

The second is the Medium-risk where level 2 offenders are kept inside a 8-10 person prison cell room. Those who cannot be trusted in less-secured areas and those whose conduct or behavior require minimum supervision.

The last one us Low-risk where Level 1 offender or those waiting to be released will be kept inside a 15-20 person prison cell. They can reasonably be trusted to serve their sentences under less restricted conditions.

Currently there are seven prison and penal farms in the country. Sablayan prison and penal farm in Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro; Iwahig in Puerto Princess, Palawan; San Ramon Prison and Penal Farm, Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Sur; Davao Prison and Penal Farm, Municipality of B.E. Duvalier, Davao del Norte; Correctional institution for women, Mandaluyong City; New Bilibid Prison, Muntinlupa City and Leyte Regional Prison, Municipality of Abuyog, Province of Leyte.