Former Vice President Jejomar Binay is pressing for the creation of an integrated jail facility for Metro Manila to address the worsening problem of congestion in local jails.
In a letter to acting Secretary Catalino Cuy of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Binay said the DILG should consider reviving a proposal made in 2005 to set up a facility to house all Metro Manila detainees.
“Congestion in local jail facilities in Metro Manila has been a long-standing concern for both the local and national authorities. Sadly, no concrete action has been taken and the problem has worsened over the years,” he added in a statement.
The former Vice President said as early as 2005, the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) proposed the establishment of an integrated jail facility for Metro Manila “precisely to address the issue of congestion in the local jails.”
“Said proposal was sent to the mayors of Metro Manila for their comment and as mayor of Makati City at the time, I expressed my support,” he added.
Binay said in the wake of reports of worsening jail congestion, the BJMP proposal “remains relevant and concrete action to implement it more urgent.”
“May I recommend that the DILG revisit the said proposal,” he added.
The BJMP had proposed the creation of an integrated facility to house Metro Manila’s 21 jails, all BJMP offices as well as housing for jail personnel.
A 96-hectare property in San Mateo, Rizal was identified as the site, with P300 million estimated as initial allocation for its construction.
The site would also have a hospital, school, lodging facilities for visitors, livelihood centers and a farm.
Binay recalled that the BJMP had already prepared blueprints for the facility.
There were bills filed in both the Senate and the House of Representatives supporting the creation of a jail facility for Metro Manila.
At the time, the BJMP had raised the issue of congestion in Metro Manila’s jails, saying the facilities can only house 5,300 inmates but the population stood at over 20,000.
As of October 2016, DILG Undersecretary Jesus Hinlo said in an interview that jail congestion was estimated at 507 percent.