DILG lauds BJMP for 307 drug-free jails in less than a year

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) lauds 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 OIC-Secretary Eduardo M. Año says that BJMP has made great leaps in ensuring that jails in the Philippines are free from illegal drugs in line with President Rodrigo Roa Duterte's campaign to rid the country, 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," says Año.

"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 adds.

According to Año, through the efforts of BJMP, an increase of 74.51% 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 says.

The DILG Chief also lauds BJMP Chief Jail Director Deogracias C. 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 says that in less than a year of assuming as the BJMP Chief, Tapayan 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 ang BJMP at ang kalagayan ng ating mga kababayan sa likod ng rehas," says the DILG Chief.

Efforts for drug-free BJMP

Año explains that for a jail facility to be marked as drug-free, it has to comply with the standards and requirements set by agencies such 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% compliant meaning they were able to meet the very strenuous requisites identified," he says.

According to BJMP, 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 are some of the parameters used to declare a jail facility drug-free.

BJMP Chief Tapayan also spearheads 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 Decongested De-radicalized drug facilities.

A memorandum of agreement (MOA) 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.