JAIL guards of the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP) in Muntinlupa City (Metro Manila) have gone on a hunger strike to call for modernization of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).
President Benigno Aquino 3rd had approved Republic Act 10575 (The Bureau of Corrections Act of 2013) that “mainly seeks to upgrade prison facilities, professionalize and restructure the bureau and increase the salary and benefits of its personnel.”
The prison guards, however, pointed out that the law has not yet been fully implemented three years after the President signed it.
Led by Chito Patingo and Alvin Faeldo, they posted banners in front of the NBP gate.
One bannet read: “Set us free from hunger and poverty: BuCor Modernization, ipatupad na [Implement the BuCor Modernization now].”
According to te BuCor spokesman, Monsignor Roberto Olaguer, there are currently 1,800 jail guards for about 24,000 NBP inmates.
A junior guard receives a P10,000 monthly salary without any allowances since 1971.
Now on its fourth day, the hunger strike will continue until the government takes strong action on their demands, according to Patingo.
He suspects that jail guards are already conniving with inmates in illegal activities to augment their meager earnings.
NBP SupT. Richard Schwarzkopf Jr. said they already informed the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) about their grievances, but Secretary Florencio Abad is yet to act on the matter.