Let private sector invest in prisons, government urged-A A +A
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
A MEMBER of Congress urged the government on Tuesday to consider privatizing Philippine prisons to help improve the living conditions of inmates.
Representative Arnel Ty of the party-list group LPG Marketers' Association (LPG-MA) made the suggestion following the alleged abduction of murder convict Rolito Go and his nephew from the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP) and the disappearance of a maximum security prisoner who was later recaptured in Isabela province.
The NBP, along with six other prisons, is run by the Bureau of Corrections (Bucor). It has a total inmate population of 36,426, Ty said.
"The overcrowding of our correction facilities is bound to worsen as their populations grow. Sadly, government does not have the wherewithal to construct and maintain our next generation prisons. Thus, we may have to consider bringing in private capital," Ty said.
Ty said the state should explore the viability of adopting the American model of enlisting the private sector's help to build, operate and maintain the country's future prisons under the supervision of the BuCor.
In America, Ty said tens of thousands of inmates are now being housed and managed by private specialists that bid competitively at the federal, state and municipal levels for the contracts to provide such services.
Last year, the party-list lawmaker filed House Resolution 1380, which directed the House committee on public order and safety to inquire into prison conditions and recommend possible reforms.
"We may have to eventually transfer to private firms the performance of detention, correction and rehabilitation services. This may be one of the ways to sustain a cost-efficient penal system in the future," Ty said.
Ty noted that jammed prisons cause heightened frustration, anger and tension among inmates that lead to conflicts and violence, that in turn endanger the safety of both detainees and guards. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)