Clark Freeport, Pampanga—The provincial government of Pampanga is looking for 20 to 30 hectares of land in the ancestral domain of the Aetas to be used for the immediate transfer of the crowded provincial jail in the area.
Gov. Lilia Pineda said that the provincial government of Pampanga has started to confer with the leaders of the Aetas for the immediate implementation of the project.
Inmates at the provincial jail have continued to swell with more than 2,000 detainees. Originally, it was built to accommodate at most 1,000 detainees.
Several hectares of vacant but productive lands are available in Floridablanca and Porac where majority of Aeta communities have settled. Most of them are currently engaged in small scale farming.
According to the governor, they need several hectares of land so that the prisoners will become productive while serving their sentences.
“Detainees could engage in farming and related livelihood activities so that they can at least produce and provide for their additional sustenance and eventually become more productive to even help their families,” the lady governor said.
Pineda said 80 present of the prisoners facing drug-related cases remain idle while waiting for the resolution of their respective cases. Meanwhile, the government spends at least P2 million a month.
Aside from transferring the overcrowded provincial jail, the provincial government is also planning to construct mental health hospital designed for the mentally ill patients of Pampanga.
The hospital will be funded by the Department of Health with free medicines. Dr. Antonio Rivera, provincial health officer, said that the hospital will also be staffed with qualify doctors and nurses for mentally ill patients of the province.
The construction of the hospital was announced during the meeting of the 400 mentally ill patients and governor in Lubao, Rivera added.