Press Release
December 17, 2012

Senate oks BuCor modernization

The Senate has approve on third and final reading a bill seeking to upgrade the facilities of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) and upgrade the salary of its personnel.

Sen. Chiz Escudero, chairman of the Committee on Justice and Human Rights and sponsor of Senate Bill No. 3335, said the BuCor, which was created in 1905, has not seen much legislative updating except for a change in its name from the former Bureau of Prisons.

He said the corrections' operations, which are still based on the Prison Law of 1917, was making it difficult for the organization to cope with the modern demands in penology and other functional considerations in accordance with the United Nation's standards.

According to Escudero, the population of BuCor's inmates in 1989 was 12, 900 manned by 2,362 employees with a prison guard to inmate ratio of 1:27. After 20 years or in 2009, the inmate population rose to 35,400 manned by the same 2,362 employees with prison guard to inmate ratio 1:81.

He said that while the population continuous to increase at an average rate of five percent annually, pegging at 35,937 as of December, 2010, BuCor has the same plantilla position of 2,362.

Bucor likewise, miserably lags behind its counterpart, the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) in terms of personnel remuneration, Escudero said.

While the lowest commissioned officer of the BJMP has a salary grade of 22, he said, its BuCor counterpart has a salary grade of 11. "Unlike BJMP, BuCor custodial personnel are not considered uniformed personnel or not entitled to salary increases/bonus and other benefits pertaining to uniformed personnel enjoyed by such agencies like the Bureau of Fire and Protection, National Mapping and Resource Information Authority and Bureau of Immigration, whose jobs are not closely exposed to high risk criminals as compared to BuCor," Escudero stressed.

He said the security facilities of BuCor are also "antiquated and inadequate as its present capacity has been overloaded to reach high congestion rates."

"BuCor lacks modern security equipment such as surveillance cameras, handheld radios, firearms and other security-related equipment," Escudero said.

Also approved on third and final reading today are House Bill No. 1869, which will allow the establishment of the Mountain Province Second District Engineering Office in the Mountain Province, House Bill 3622, which seeks reconstruct the Kalinga Engineering District Office into two regular District Engineering Offices and House Bill 5600, which seeks the transfer of the La Union Second District Engineering Office from Naguilian, La Union to Agoo, La Union,

The bills were sponsored by Sen. Bong Revilla, Jr. (PILAR MACROHON, PRIB)

News Latest News Feed