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Senate OKs transfer of provincial, sub-provincial jails to BJMP care

MANILA: The Senate approved on Monday Senate Bill (SB) No. 2352 or the Jail Integration Act which seeks to transfer the control and supervision of the provincial and sub-provincial jails to the Bureau of Jail and Management Penology (BJMP).

After earning 19 affirmative votes, zero negatives, and no abstentions, Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, who sponsored the measure, thanked his colleagues for the support and reiterated its benefits.

“Indeed, by turning over the management and supervision of provincial and sub-provincial jails from the provincial governments to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, those jails stand to benefit, not only from the expertise and world-class standards that the BJMP sets for itself but more importantly from the BJMP’s national programs,” said dela Rosa, a former Bureau of Corrections chief, in his privilege speech.

“The LGUs will benefit from this measure too. They will be liberated from functions that tend to divide their attention and limited resources such as this e
ndeavor that may be very well performed by a government agency that specializes in this matter such as BJMP,” he added.

If passed into law, dela Rosa said SB 2352 shall be giving more freedom to provincial governments to direct their resources in accordance with their respective priorities.

Under the measure, existing employees of the provincial and sub-provincial jails shall enjoy security of tenure, and shall automatically be absorbed by the BJMP, subject to existing qualification standards.

“Iyong mga hindi nakakaabot ng mga nasabing qualification standard ay tutulungan natin, bibigyan natin sila ng limang taon upang maabot na nila ang mga standard na ito (We will help those who did not reach the qualification standard by giving them five years to reach this standard). While for those employees who, at the time of transfer, already reach the mandatory retirement age of the BJMP, we shall encourage the provincial government to absorb them under their employ,” dela Rosa assured in a previous statement.

or purposes of computation of their retirement and pension benefits, employees’ services rendered before the enactment of the measure shall be included.

Within the transition, which will take three years, the provincial governments will continue to provide for the subsistence allowance of inmates, as well as for the maintenance of the jail facility before being fully turned over to BJMP.

Established under Republic Act No. 6975 or the ‘Department of the Interior and Local Government Act of 1990’, the jurisdiction granted to the BJMP was only over city and municipal jails leaving the management and supervision of provincial and sub-provincial jails to provincial governments.

Source: Philippines News Agency