AN official of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) on Wednesday lamented that the food budget given to inmates is no longer enough because the jail population has grown by thousands.
Chief Supt. Romeo Elisan Jr., chief of the BJMP in Metro Manila, said that the Commission on Audit’s report in 2015 pegged the number of inmates at 30,544. But in yesterday’s ‘s Strategic Planning and Thinking Seminar Workshop at the University of the Philippines-National College of Public Administration and Governance (UP-NCPAG), he said this figure had ballooned to 36,770.
“There has been a 1,000 percent increase in jail congestion,” Elisan told The Manila Times.
Each inmate has a food budget of P60 a day.
“There is a pending problem, nauubos agad ang pondo (the budget is used up immediately),” he said. “Yung consumed last December (2016) hindi pa nababayaran (what was consumed in December has not been paid), and I think also half of November.”
Though not pointing where the lapses came from, Elisan said the BJMP National Headquarters would have to wait for the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to release the fund to pay the food suppliers.
“Mahirap magreklamo. Hindi rin naman agad makakapagpautang ang mga food suppliers (It’s difficult to complain. But food suppliers don’t easily extend credit),” he said.
He explained that most wardens in the National Capital Region usually have to beg food suppliers to be patient and wait for their payment.
“Because we can’t assure them that the fund will come on time,” Elisan said.