307 jails cleared of illegal drugs in less than a year: BJMP

MANILA The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has lauded the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) for 307 drug-free jails in less than a year of its intensified internal cleansing campaign.

DILG Officer-in-Charge Secretary Eduardo AAo said the BJMP has made great leaps in ensuring that jails in the country are free of illegal drugs, in line with President Rodrigo R. Duterte's campaign to rid the Philippines, including Filipinos behind bars, of the influence of illegal drugs.

"I commend BJMP for their admirable accomplishment. The proliferation of illegal drugs in hundreds of prisons in the country have been an endemic issue which entails a lot of work and political will and for BJMP to produce positive output in less than a year, in a matter of months, is truly worth praising," AAo said in statement issued Tuesday.

"As one of the attached agencies of DILG, we are extremely satisfied with the progress BJMP was able to accomplish in the past months," he added.

AAo said through the efforts of BJMP, an increase of 74.51 percent of jails manned by BJMP are now drug-free, a far cry from 68 jail facilities certified by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) as "clean of illegal drugs" early this year.

"Numbers cannot lie. From 68 early this year, we now have 307 drug-free jails which can only be attributed to the relentless campaign of BJMP to keep up with the President's vision of a country free from illegal-drugs," he said.

The DILG chief also lauded BJMP chief Jail Director Deogracias Tapayan for his leadership and consistency in carrying out the various initiatives of the jail bureau and "for being a firm partner of the government in the fight against illegal drugs".

He said in less than a year of assuming as the BJMP chief, Tapayan has remained a steadfast leader, steering the bureau to its best performance yet, while gearing to better improve jail facilities as a place of new beginnings for detainees rather than a dead-end.

"What BJMP chief Tapayan did is truly remarkable. Umaasa akong magpapatuloy ang kanyang pagpupursige na lalo pang mapabuti angBJMP at ang kalagayan ng ating mga kababayan sa likod ng rehas (I expect that he will continue his efforts to further improve the BJMP and the condition of our fellowmen behind bars)," AAo said.

Efforts for drug-free BJMP

AAo explained that for a jail facility to be marked drug-free, it has to comply with the standards and requirements set by such agencies as PDEA and the Philippine National Police (PNP).

"Eight regions have been declared as drug-free using the standard set by PDEA and PNP. All these regions are 100 percent compliant meaning they were able to meet the very strenuous requisites identified," he said.

According to BJMP, the conduct of random-drug tests among inmates and jail personnel, the jail-based intervention program on anti-illegal drug and the absence of any illegal drugs paraphernalia in the facility are some of the parameters used to declare a jail facility drug-free.

Tapayan also led the BJMP project PRRD or Personal Progressive Cleansing and Build-up, Recruitment and Revamped Training and Reorientation, Rehabilitation of Facilities, Safekeeping and Development of Persons Deprived of Liberty, and the Decongested De-radicalized drug facilities.

A memorandum of agreement between PDEA and BJMP was also inked last November for the conduct of regular drug-clearing operations in all city and municipal jails in the country. (DILG PR)

Source: Philippine News Agency