MANILA - The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) on Wednesday said it would soon allow non-contact in-person visits for persons deprived of liberty (PDLs).
"Kasalukuyang naghahanda na ang BJMP para po sa granular opening ng non-contact visitation sa mga district, city at municipal jails sa bansa pero klaruhin ko lang, physical presence po ng mga pamilya sa mga facilities natin ang sinisiguro po namin pero wala na ho yung kagaya dati na nagkakaroon pa ng yakapan. Ngayon po talagang magkikita lang sila at mag uusap kasi non-contact visitation po ang i-implement ng BJMP (The BJMP is currently preparing for the granular opening of non-contact visitations in district, city, and municipal jails in the country. But let me be clear about this, we are ensuring the physical presence of families in our facilities but some activities that were allowed pre-pandemic will be prohibited like hugging. They will really just meet and talk because the BJMP will implement a non-contact visitation)," BJMP spokesperson, Chief Insp. Xavier Solda, said in a radio interview.
Solda said visitors must first get a schedule and undergo orientation on the do's and dont's of in-person visitation. Only visitors coming from areas under Alert Levels 1 and 2 and will be allowed for visitation.
Families will be given a maximum of one hour to meet with their loved ones in jail. They must also bring a valid government issued ID, vaccination card, and must wear face masks at all times during the visitation.
"It depends on the scheduling at our jail facilities but the visitation will start Tuesday to Sunday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. and even though there are no non-contact visitations in our facilities, we will continue our electronic visitation or e-visit for the sake of our PDLs," said Solda.
He also emphasized that the jail population has decreased during the coronavirus pandemic.
"In fact nung nakaraang taon nasa 418 percent ang congestion rate natin at pumalo pa yan sa 456 percent pero ngayon taon nasa mga 408 percent na lang ang congestion rate natin. So isa po sa mga tinitingnan natin na factor bumaba talaga ang bilang ngnako-commit sa jail facilities po natin (In fact, last year our congestion rate was 418 percent and it still hit 456 percent but this year our congestion rate is only about 408 percent. So one of the factors we are looking at is that the number of committed in our jail facilities has actually decreased)," he explained.
Solda noted that 119,476 or 95.13 percent of a total of 125,589 PDLs in BJMP facilities have been vaccinated against Covid-19.
"Sa hindi pa natin nababakunahan, naka-schedule na yan at kino-coordinate natin sa mga local health units and sa regional health service unit ng BJMP kasi ito yung mga bagong commit lang sa mga facilities natin (To those have not yet been vaccinated, we have already scheduled that and we are coordinating with the local health units and the regional health service unit of the BJMP because these are just newly-committed PDLsin our facilities)," he stressed.
As of Wednesday, the BJMP has zero active Covid-19 cases among PDLs and jail personnel.
Solda attributed the zero active Covid-19 cases in BJMP-run facilities to the strict implementation of the "prevent, detect, isolate, treat and reintegrate method of the Department of Health (DOH). (PNA)