The provincial government of Bohol is willing to allocate P10 million for the construction of additional prison cells at the Bohol District Jail (BDJ) to address the concern on congested jails in the province in Barangay Cabawan here.
Gov. Edgar Chatto tasked the Local Finance Committee (LFC) to identify source for the PHP10 million needed for the purpose.
Chatto instructed the LFC to submit the report to the Provincial Development Council and the Sangguniang Panlalawigan for endorsement.
This is to pre-empt further overcrowding as arrested persons from anti-illegal drugs campaign of the police continue to pile up.
Provincial Jail Warden Jose Rusylvi Abueva expressed during the recent Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) meeting that the BDJ badly needs more prison cells with rate the detainees increase but they lack funds.
Abueva had recommended the construction of 10 additional prison cells at the BDJ which needs P5 million.
BDJ only has 25 prison cells which could accommodate only 400 inmates.
At present, it is already overcrowded with 740 detainees. With the daily anti-illegal drugs operations, it might go up to 1,000, he added.
Abueva also noted that a number of detainees have been there for years already as their cases had dragged in court.
However, 10 of the detainees from BDJ had recently been transferred to the New Bilibid Prison.
Abueva said 901 of the 1,399 inmates in entire Bohol have been detained for drug-related cases.
Tagbilaran City Jail has the most number of drug detainees with 198 of the 275 detainees. At the BDJ, 469 of the 740 inmates face drug cases.
Third in the rank is Talibon District Jail with 92 of the 159 detainees have been charged with drug-related offenses.
Ubay Jail has 103 of the 149 detainees, and Carmen has 39 of the 76 detainees implicated in drug cases.
As to the problem on overcrowded jails in Bohol attributed to the daily turn-out of drug cases, Abueva had sought for assistance from the three congressmen of Bohol to facilitate budget for the purpose.
Abueva said that aside from additional prison facilities at the BDJ, Bohol also needs at least two more jails, one in Tubigon and another in Jagna.
The construction of two more jails in towns will decongest BDJ as there would be no need to bring the case respondents from the towns to the BDJ in Tagbilaran City for their detention.
Abueva had also earlier said that he wanted to talk with the Rep. Rene Relampagos, Rep. Aris Aumentado and Rep. Arthur Yap to personally present the idea to them.
He also said he plans to ask the local government unit of Carmen to donate a property or land where an additional detention facility can be constructed.
The donation of a property to house the additional detention facility is a requirement so that funds can be allocated next year.
Abueva also said once the ongoing construction of a jail in Ubay will be completed, some of the inmates in Carmen would be brought to Ubay.
Abueva also lamented that none of the local government units in the municipalities had responded yet to his call to construct their own jails.
Meantime, the provincial government is scheduled to launch on Oct. 7, the new Center for Drug Education and Counseling to be housed at Oak Brook Building beside the St. Joseph Cathedral in Tagbilaran City.
The facility will accommodate drug dependents who want to have renewed lives.
The drug dependents still have to undergo assessment and those who have been suffering serious effect from drug abuse will be endorsed to rehabilitation centers.(PNA)