TACLOBAN CITY — All the 24 jails in Eastern Visayas under the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) are now drug-free as certified by an oversight committee headed by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
PDEA Regional Director Edgar Jubay said all the region’s BJMP-managed prison facilities are 100 percent compliant as they were able to meet the “very strenuous” requirements.
“There’s no shortcut. It was a lengthy process and all parameters are supported by documents and actual inspection,” Jubay said during the agency’s radio program on Saturday.
Among the parameters are the conduct of random drug tests among inmates and jail personnel, jail-based intervention program on anti-illegal drugs, and absence of any illegal drugs paraphernalia in the facility.
To be certified as drug-free, the jail must also show consistent efforts on anti-illegal drug campaigns in their respective communities on top of basic requirements that the facility is clean from any illegal drugs.
The committee signed the declaration on January 4.
These jail facilities are in Naval, Biliran; Maasin City, Sogod, San Juan in Southern Leyte; Borongan City, Balangiga, Guiuan, Dolores in Eastern Samar; Basey, Catbalogan City, Calbayog City in Samar; Catarman and Laoang in Northern Samar; Tacloban City (male and female dormitory), Burauen, Carigara, Isabel, Alangalang, Baybay City, Palo, Palompon, and Ormoc City (male and female dormitory) in Leyte.
Senior Supt. Felixberto Jagorin Jr., BJMP Eastern Visayas Regional Director, told reporters on Monday the declaration indicates that jail facilities are reliable partners of the government in the fight against illegal drugs.
“We have to make sure that our jails are drug-free since these facilities are place of new beginnings for detainees rather than a dead-end,” he said.
In November 2017, PDEA and BJMP inked a memorandum of agreement for the conduct of regular drug-clearing operations in all city and municipal jails in the country.
As one of the five pillars of the country’s criminal justice system, the BJMP was created to address the growing concern of jail management and penology problem.
Primarily, its clients are detainees accused before a court who are temporarily confined in such jails while undergoing investigation, waiting final judgment, and those who are serving sentence promulgated by the court three years and below.
The jail bureau is mandated to take operational and administrative control over all city, district and municipal jails.