To address pressing issues on high congestion rates of jails nationwide, the budget of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) for 2019 has been increased to PhP18.9 billion from its 2018 cash-based equivalent of PhP14.5 billion
The BJMP reported that the congestion rate in existing jails in the country has hit almost 600 percent in April 2018. The city jails, for instance, suffer from a 701 percent congestion rate, which may lead to several more problems, among them the spread of infectious diseases.
“The increased budget of the BJMP will help them manage jail congestion which affects health and sanitation problems,” Budget Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said.
For 2019, the BJMP will also focus on safe and humane management of all district, city, and municipal jails.
Some PhP16.9 billion is set aside for its Inmate’s Safekeeping and Development Program, which covers the custody, safekeeping, and rehabilitation of inmates awaiting investigation, trial and/or transfer to the national penitentiary. Of this amount, PhP2.9 billion is set aside for the construction of additional jail buildings to decongest the existing facilities.
Some PhP3.9 billion is also allotted for the daily subsistence of inmates; while another PhP666 million is set aside for the medicine allowance of the assumed 182,556 number of inmates to address health concerns.