Press Release
March 4, 2024

Third Reading Approval
Senate Bill No. 2352: Jail Integration Act

March 4, 2024

Mr. President, together with my esteemed colleagues, Senate President Migz Zubiri, Senator Bong Revilla, Jr., Senator JV Ejercito and Majority Leader Senator Joel Villanueva, I wish to take this opportunity to thank this august chamber - today, Senate Bill No. 2352, or the Jail Integration Act is approved on Third Reading.

While delegation is perhaps the truest form of trustworthiness, it should not reach a point that it becomes more of a burden, rather than a noble duty. When I defended this bill on the floor, Mr. President, interpellated by our ever-sharp Deputy Minority Leader, Senator Risa Hontiveros, that was one of the fruits of that exchange. Indeed, by turning over the management and supervision of our provincial and sub-provincial jails, from the Provincial Government to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), those jails stand to benefit, not only from the expertise and world-class standards that the BJMP sets for itself, but more importantly, from the BJMP's national programs.

Also, as I have mentioned before, the LGUs will benefit from this measure, too. They will be liberated from functions that tend to divide their attention and limited resources, such as these endeavors that may very well be performed by a government agency that specializes in these matters, such as the BJMP.

Correction and reformation take a great deal of time and expertise. As such, they should be delegated to agencies whose primary function has always been the rehabilitation of Persons Deprived of Liberty or PDLs. When there is a unified, integrated way of dealing with PDLs, then we can also set a unified and integrated vision for them. This somehow gives them the message: the entire government is looking after you.

Our laws have always acknowledged and recognized local authority and their ability to address community concerns. However, it is our belief that special circumstances require special attention and dedication. We have always advocated for devolution and decentralization, but we also maintain our conviction that, whenever necessary, whenever possible, we must take a more holistic approach to our government programs.

To the BJMP, headed by the competent leadership of Jail Director Ruel S. Rivera, congratulations are in order. But more importantly, let this be concrete proof of how much your Senate trusts you. That popular saying shall always ring true: to whom much is given, much is also expected. Sa bawat provincial at sub-provincial jail na itu-turn-over sa inyo, lagi niyong isasaisip at isasapuso kung ano ang ibig sabihin nito. May mga panibagong PDL na aasa sa kalinga ninyo. They may be deprived of liberty, but they should never be deprived of the basic human need to be properly looked after.

Maraming salamat, Mr. President, at mga minamahal kong kasama, dahil kaisa ko kayo sa hangarin na ito. Thank you for supporting this vision.

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