Secretary Remulla Calls for Swift Transfer of NBP Inmates and Separate Penal Facility for Heinous Crime Offenders

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Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla Orders Transfer of Persons Deprived of Liberty

Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla has taken decisive action to address the overcrowding issue at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City. In a bid to intensify and expedite the transfer of Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs) to various regional prison facilities, Secretary Remulla has issued Department Order (DO) 208. This order also includes the establishment of a separate penal facility for those convicted of heinous crimes.
The overcrowding problem at the NBP has been a long-standing concern, with the prison operating at almost double its capacity. This has led to a multitude of challenges, including increased violence, unsanitary conditions, and limited resources for rehabilitation programs. Secretary Remulla recognized the urgent need for a comprehensive solution to alleviate these issues and ensure the safety and well-being of both the PDLs and the prison staff.
Department Order 208 outlines a strategic plan to transfer PDLs to regional prison facilities across the country. This approach aims to distribute the prison population more evenly, reducing the strain on the NBP and allowing for better management and supervision of inmates. By transferring PDLs to facilities closer to their respective hometowns, Secretary Remulla hopes to facilitate family visitation and reintegration programs, which are vital for the successful rehabilitation and reformation of offenders.
Furthermore, the establishment of a separate penal facility for those convicted of heinous crimes is a significant step towards enhancing the criminal justice system. This facility will be equipped with specialized resources and personnel to handle the unique challenges posed by high-risk offenders. It will also provide a more secure environment for both the inmates and the prison staff, ensuring the effective implementation of rehabilitation programs and the prevention of further criminal activities within the prison walls.
Secretary Remulla’s decision to issue Department Order 208 demonstrates his commitment to addressing the pressing issues within the Philippine prison system. By prioritizing the transfer of PDLs and the establishment of a separate penal facility, he is taking proactive measures to improve the conditions and overall functioning of the correctional system. This comprehensive approach not only aims to alleviate overcrowding but also seeks to promote rehabilitation, reintegration, and ultimately, the reduction of recidivism rates.
In conclusion, Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla’s Department Order 208 marks a significant milestone in the efforts to reform the Philippine prison system. Through the strategic transfer of PDLs and the establishment of a separate penal facility, Secretary Remulla is paving the way for a more efficient, humane, and effective correctional system. This initiative will not only alleviate the overcrowding issue at the NBP but also provide better opportunities for rehabilitation and reintegration, ultimately contributing to a safer and more just society.

Reconstituting the Technical Working Group

To ensure the successful implementation of this program, Secretary Remulla has reconstituted the Technical Working Group (TWG) through DO 208. Undersecretary Deo Marco, Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Director General Gregorio Catapang Jr., and other corrections officials will lead this group. The TWG will be responsible for overseeing the transfer of Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs) and the establishment of the separate penal facility.
The reconstitution of the TWG marks a significant step towards achieving the goals set forth by Secretary Remulla. By appointing experienced and knowledgeable individuals to lead the group, the Secretary has demonstrated his commitment to ensuring the smooth transition of PDLs to the new facility.
Under the leadership of Undersecretary Deo Marco, the TWG will work closely with BuCor Director General Gregorio Catapang Jr. and other corrections officials to develop a comprehensive plan for the transfer of PDLs. This plan will include detailed protocols for the safe and secure transportation of PDLs from their current facilities to the new location.
In addition to overseeing the transfer process, the TWG will also be responsible for the establishment of the separate penal facility. This will involve coordinating with various government agencies and stakeholders to ensure that the necessary infrastructure, resources, and personnel are in place to accommodate the PDLs in their new environment.
One of the key priorities for the TWG will be to ensure the safety and well-being of the PDLs throughout the transfer process. This will require careful planning and coordination to minimize any potential risks or disruptions. The TWG will work closely with law enforcement agencies and other relevant authorities to address any security concerns and ensure a smooth transition.
Furthermore, the TWG will also be tasked with developing programs and initiatives aimed at the rehabilitation and reintegration of the PDLs. This will include providing access to education, vocational training, and other support services that will help the PDLs reintegrate into society and lead productive lives upon their release.
The successful implementation of this program will require close collaboration between the TWG, government agencies, and other stakeholders. Regular meetings, consultations, and progress updates will be conducted to ensure that all parties are working towards a common goal and that any challenges or issues that arise are promptly addressed.
In conclusion, the reconstitution of the Technical Working Group is a crucial step towards the successful implementation of the program. Under the leadership of Undersecretary Deo Marco and BuCor Director General Gregorio Catapang Jr., the TWG will play a pivotal role in overseeing the transfer of PDLs and the establishment of the separate penal facility. Through careful planning, coordination, and collaboration, the TWG will work towards ensuring the safety, well-being, and successful rehabilitation of the PDLs, ultimately contributing to a more effective and humane criminal justice system.

Implementing Republic Act 11928

The issuance of DO 208 aligns with the implementation of Republic Act 11928, also known as “An Act Establishing a Separate Facility for Persons Deprived of Liberty Convicted of Heinous Crimes and Appropriating Funds Therefore.” This law mandates the creation of a facility that is separate from the general prison population for individuals convicted of heinous crimes.
To ensure the smooth functioning of the Technical Working Group (TWG) responsible for overseeing the implementation of this law, a secretariat will be constituted. This secretariat will consist of personnel from the Department of Justice (DOJ) technical staff, including at least two stenographers. Their role will be crucial in documenting the proceedings and discussions of the TWG, ensuring that accurate records are maintained.
Recognizing the importance of collaboration and expertise from various sectors, external members from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime will be invited to join the TWG. Their participation will bring valuable insights and perspectives to the table, enhancing the effectiveness of the TWG’s efforts.
With a sense of urgency, the TWG has been given a deadline to submit its report to the Secretary within ninety (90) days of the issuance of the department order. This report will serve as a comprehensive overview of the progress made in the transfer of Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs) to the separate penal facility and the establishment of the necessary infrastructure and systems to support its operation.
The report will outline the steps taken to identify suitable locations for the facility, considering factors such as accessibility, security, and proximity to existing correctional facilities. It will also detail the efforts made to ensure the smooth transfer of PDLs, addressing logistical challenges and ensuring the safety and security of both the PDLs and the personnel involved in the process.
Furthermore, the report will provide insights into the design and construction of the separate penal facility, emphasizing the importance of incorporating modern and effective security measures while also considering the rehabilitation and reintegration needs of the PDLs. The TWG will collaborate closely with the DPWH to ensure that the facility meets the necessary standards and requirements.
In addition to the physical infrastructure, the report will delve into the development and implementation of programs and services within the separate penal facility. These programs will aim to address the specific needs of PDLs convicted of heinous crimes, including psychological support, vocational training, and educational opportunities. The TWG will work in consultation with relevant government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and experts in the field to design and implement these programs effectively.
Overall, the report will serve as a comprehensive roadmap for the successful implementation of Republic Act 11928. It will provide a clear overview of the progress made, highlight any challenges encountered, and propose measures to address them. Through the diligent efforts of the TWG and the collaboration of various stakeholders, the separate penal facility will become a reality, ensuring the proper management and rehabilitation of PDLs convicted of heinous crimes. To achieve the objectives of this project, careful consideration must be given to the location and design of the facility. The ideal location would be away from the general prison population and other Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs). This is essential to ensure the safety and security of both the high-level offenders and the general prison population.
One option that has been proposed is to situate the facility within a military establishment. This would provide an added layer of security, as military bases are typically well-guarded and have strict access control measures in place. Additionally, the presence of military personnel could help maintain order and discipline within the facility.
Another possibility is to construct the facility on a separate island. This would create a physical barrier between the heinous crime offenders and the mainland, further reducing the risk of escape or unauthorized access. It would also allow for more efficient management of the facility, as resources and personnel could be dedicated solely to the rehabilitation and supervision of the high-level offenders.
In accordance with the law, at least three facilities for heinous crime offenders should be established, with one facility each in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. This distribution ensures that the burden of housing and rehabilitating these offenders is shared across different regions of the country, preventing overcrowding in any one facility.
Secretary Remulla has emphasized the importance of the prison system and facilities in rehabilitating individuals who have committed heinous crimes. He recognizes that the successful reintegration of these offenders into society is not only a matter of their welfare but also the security and well-being of the community at large. By providing a separate facility for heinous crime offenders, the government can focus on implementing effective rehabilitation programs tailored to the specific needs of these individuals.
By addressing the issue of overcrowding at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) through the establishment of separate facilities for heinous crime offenders, Secretary Remulla aims to improve the overall efficiency and security of the prison system in the Philippines. This will not only benefit the high-level offenders but also contribute to the safety and well-being of the general public. It is a step towards aligning the country’s prison system with international standards and ensuring that the rehabilitation of offenders is carried out effectively and with the ultimate goal of reducing recidivism rates.

Source: The Manila Times

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