MAYOR Oscar Moreno said on Monday, August 10, that additional cells at the Lumbia City Jail are not needed, as space is not the issue causing the overcrowding at the jail but the accumulation of inmates.
"Space has become an issue kay nag accumulate man sila. The accumulation is the issue. How and why did the accumulation happened?" Moreno said.
"You should look into the root cause of the problem. Ngano naa man na sila? Ngano nag-accumulate man? Pila na ka tuig na sila?" he added.
On Monday morning, August 10, Moreno conducted an ocular inspection to check on the condition of inmates and jail facilities at the Lumbia City Jail, together with Acting City Health Officer Dr. Lorraine Nery, Councilor Maria Lourdes Gaane, City Health Office medical officer Dr. Ted Yu and City Health Insurance chief Dr. William Bernardo.
The jail is cramped and physical distancing is not observed, Nery said.
She added that they have provided the inmates with face masks and vitamins and they have kept them under health surveillance to monitor symptoms.
"Among i-discuss karon ni Dr. Retuya and ni Dr. Ted Yu kung unsa ang possibility kung ato bang ma-test ang katong mga naa didto tanan sa sulod kay gani, dili ta ganahan or mag-avoid ta nga simbako lang naay isa nga makasulod pa kay within the next weeks nga moabutay ga-expect pud ta while dili pa modawat ang BJMP, mo-expect pud ta nga ang katong number nila didto karon sa sulod madugangan pa gyud," Nery said.
"For the meantime, ang atong monitoring sa ilahang health conditions dapat ato gyud ipahigayon," she added.
Moreno, during the regular press conference on Covid-19, which was hours after the inspection, confirmed that three jail officers have tested positive for coronavirus.
The coronavirus-positive jailers, who are Authorized Persons Outside Residence (Apor) from Cagayan de Oro, were quarantined at the Temporary Treatment and Monitoring Facility.
Moreno assured that the three jailers were not able to infect the inmates as the city jail has its rotation system.
"Ang ilang sistema is rotation. Mo shift sila og 14 days and then mouli sila sa lang balay and then gikan sa uli, 14 days mag kwarantina didto sa facility sa three-storey building (inside the BJMP compound). And then after 14 days report na pud," Moreno said.
"Kana na proseso proved to be effective," he added.
Moreno said he will meet with the Cagayan de Oro City Police, City Prosecutor's Office, executive judges and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines to adopt long-term strategies and solutions to address the overcrowding at the Lumbia City Jail, which raises the risk of Covid-19 infection among inmates and jail personnel.
He added that they have to revisit procedures like requiring the inmates to sign a waiver that would allow them to be detained beyond the 48-hour limit.
Signing the waivers allow the charges to drag on for the inmates for weeks to months.
A lot of the inmates at the Lumbia City Jail face drug charges, Moreno said.