THE Bureau of Jail Management and Penology has welcomed the approval of an ordinance authorizing Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista to enter into a usufruct agreement that would give way to the transfer of the overcrowded Quezon City jail in Kamuning.
Chief Supt. Michael Vidamo, chief of the BJMP-National Capital Region, said the 32-member Quezon City council has given Bautista the green light to develop a 2.4-hectare property in Barangay Payatas in favor of the BJMP.
Despite the approval, the construction of a new jail has yet to materialize, he said.
“There is still no actual turnover of the property,” he told The Standard.
A usufruct agreement was sent to the BJMP, but jail officials wanted it revised, he said.
“It was sent back to the city,” he added. “There were several provisions that needed amendment.”
Much as the jail officials would want to build a news facility to decongest the Quezon City jail, the bureau does not have the funds to do so, he said.
“The construction originally costs P200 million, but because of some delays, the cost could go up to P300 million nowadays,” Vidamo said.
The budget adjustment would be reverted to the Metro Manila Development’s Regional Development Council for the approval of the Department of Budget and Management.
The transfer of the Quezon City jail situated on Epifanio de los Santos Avenue in Barangay Kamuning has long been planned since 2008.
According to Vidamo, the existing jail facility is too congested, and that there is an urgent need to build a new one.
An isolated portion of Payatas is an ideal site to put up a new jail in terms of location and land area, the city government said. There are at least 3,700 inmates at the city jail, he said.
“Of the number, 590 of them are female detainees confined at Camp Karingal,” he added.
The facility has a capacity of 600 detainees only.
The Quezon City jail has a floor area of 563 square meters with a cell area of 129 square meters.
“Because of the lack of space, we built an isolation room and an intensive care unit atop” Vidamo said.
According to Bautista, only 2.4 hectares of the Payatas property would be used to construct the new jail, while a barangay community center would be built on the other one-hectare.
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