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Thursday, January 24, 2019

Overstaying inmates crowd jail

TEN percent of Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC) detainees are overstaying, Capitol jail consultant Marco Toral said yesterday.

As some of these detainees’ cases are bailable, Toral asked for three paralegal officers to process these cases to help decongest the provincial jail.

At the Lapu-Lapu City Jail, the management had its more than 1,000 inmates undergo lung X-ray scan sponsored by a Japanese-owned firm to prevent the spread of tuberculosis among inmates.

Chief Insp. Renante Rubio, warden of the jail’s male dormitory, said he suggested to the management of Trigger Company to sponsor lung X-ray scan for the inmates to prevent the spread of the disease.

He said 12 inmates were found to have tuberculosis when they underwent medical examination upon their transfer to the jail. They are confined in an infirmary and are receiving treatment sponsored by the Department of Health.

“With the congestion of our cells, it is possible there are inmates who have contracted the disease,” Rubio told Sun.Star Cebu.

Toral cited a father and son from Liloan who were jailed for more than 10 years now for drug possession. He said the two should have been out by now or transferred to a rehabilitation center.

Of the 2,349 provincial jail inmates, a number that exceeds the jail’s 1,600 capacity, 234 are overstaying, said Toral.

He said some detainees approached him and asked why their cases are not moving.

Chapel

“Preferably members of IBP (integrated bar of the Philippines) or a law graduate will do,” he said.

Toral yesterday ordered a portion of the jail’s chapel torn down to make way for an additional cell.

The move is supported by a religious group and with funds from Capitol. The inmates do the work at P50 a day for allowance.

Expire

Once completed, the new cell will accommodate 1,000 inmates, preferably elderly prisoners, those whose jail term is about to expire and newly remanded prisoners.

Toral is also eyeing a space inside the jail compound to be a future rehabilitation facility.

Overcrowding in CPDRC and the summer heat aggravate conditions inside the jail, with some inmates forced to sleep on the floor, he said.

Toral urged inmates to take a bath regularly since water is not a problem inside.

The Lapu-Lapu City Jail, located in Sitio Soong, Barangay Mactan, houses more than 1,000 inmates although it was designed to accommodate only 450.

Rubio said 750 inmates have already undergone X-ray scan, while 450 are scheduled to undergo the scan in the coming days. The results have yet to be released.
The inmates were offered free lung X-ray scan ahead of the World Tuberculosis Day on March 24.

Rubio said the Trigger Company also pledged to help build a new clinic where inmates who will test positive for tuberculosis can be confined.

The firm, which manufactures rotating blades, has been operating a small factory inside the jail compound for five years, providing jobs to 70 inmates. Its main office and factory is located in the Mactan Economic Zone.

Rubio said the firm spent P250,000 for the free lung X-ray scan.

Mayor Paz Radaza told reporters she will instruct the City Health Office to check the health situation in the jail.

She said the City Government and the office of Rep. Aileen Radaza (Lapu-Lapu City lone district) plan to build a two-storey building in the jail this year to address the problem of congestion.
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