By Charisa Luci-Atienza
Muntinlupa Rep. Rozzano Rufino “Ruffy” Biazon wants to transfer the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) from its current location in Muntinlupa City to Tanay, Rizal.
He noted that, on September 8, 2006, Proclamation No. 1158 reserved 270 hectares in titled property of the Philippine government located in Barangay Cuyambay, Muncipality of Tanay, province of Rizal, and designated it as the new site of the NBP under the Department of Justice (DOJ).
“Its location in an urban center has also become an untenable situation as this has made access to the NBP easier and facilitated criminal activities within, aside from posing danger to residents in the surrounding areas. The time has come to transfer the national penitentiary and build a modern facility that is secure, able to perform its mandate to rehabilitate and reform inmates and far from an urban area,” Biazon said.
He lamented that the NBP was already overcrowded, and was in deplorable state, which resulted to sub-human living conditions for those incarcerated.
“This gives rise to sickness brought about by poor sanitary and health conditions, outbreak of violence among inmates due to conflicts for space, and an environment that is not conducive to reform and rehabilitation,” Biazon said.
“These deplorable conditions have prompted wealthy inmates to bribe prison officials in order to live more comfortable lives and enjoy some special privileges while serving their sentences in the NBP,” he said.
He said that corrupt practice also opened opportunities for enterprising inmates to engage in illegal activities like drugs, prostitution and gambling to earn enough money to buy special privileges while incarcerated.
House Bill 8357 mandates the Department of Justice (DOJ) to carry out the transfer of the NBP in Muntinlupa City to Tanay, Rizal.
Under the bill, DOJ shall oversee the preparation of the technical plans for the new site, the procurement of works and services, and the development and management of the new correctional facility.
The bill tasks the DOJ, the Department of Finance (DOF) and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to study and come up with viable financial schemes in order to carry out the transfer of the NBP.
Within six months from the date of the effectivity of the proposed Act, the DOJ, DOF and DBM shall jointly report to Congress on such financial schemes, the bill said.