Manila – The Bureau of Corrections has commenced its jail decongestion program and entered into a Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) with Agua Tierra Oro Mina Development Corporation (ATOM) for the transfer of prison facilities from the National Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City to Nueva Ecija.
Pursuant to the JVA, ATOM donated a 234-hectare land in Barangay Pias, General Tinio to the Bureau of Corrections which will be called “Bagong Lupa” and will be home to Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs).
The JVA shall be at no cost to the government or the Bureau of Corrections since ATOM will construct the prison facilities in the donated land which can accommodate 30,000 male PDLs and 4,000 female PDLs. The new site is already being prepared for pre-construction and will be ready for construction by July 2022. ATOM was given two and a half years to finish the same.
Furthermore, the parties have agreed that ATOM (in possible collaboration with the SM Group of Companies) will develop the NBP Reservation in Muntinlupa City with an area of 375.61 hectares into a commercial, residential, and industrial area with no cost to the government, and with a revenue sharing mechanism of 65% for ATOM and 35% for the Bureau of Corrections. Other investors aside from the SM Group of Companies have already showed interest in the development, seeing the upside of this project.
The JVA which has a term of 25 years and renewable for another 25 years is pursuant to the Bureau of Corrections’ mandate of safekeeping and reformation of PDLs.
The JVA is highly favorable to the government since it will address the long-time problem of congestions of PDLs and will also serve as a channel for reformation programs for the PDLs and the sustainability of the Bureau of Corrections. At the moment the total PDL population at the NBP Reservation in Muntinlupa City is 28,407 while that of the Correctional Institution for Women (CIW) in Mandaluyong City is 3,354 which is equivalent to 300% prison congestion.
The transfer of the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP) facilities to a bigger location has been suggested for the past administrations but it is only this time with the political will of President Rodrigo R. Duterte that it became a reality.