Press Release
March 4, 2024

Dela Rosa: Jail Integration Act's passage to ensure PDLs' welfare

The passage of the proposed Jail Integration Act will not only centralize the administration of local jails across the country, but will also ensure the welfare of Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs).

Senator Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa, sponsor of Senate Bill 2352, highlighted this as he welcomed the Senate's unanimous approval of the measure seeking to transfer the supervision of provincial and sub-provincial jails to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (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," Dela Rosa said in his manifestation after the third reading approval of SB 2352.

"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," he stressed.

Dela Rosa, who was once appointed as director-general of the Bureau of Corrections, also emphasized that the bill would benefit local jails in terms of the national programs, as well as the expertise and world-class standards of the BJMP.

The proposed law will likewise ease the burden of the local government units (LGUs), the senator said, as this will liberate them from functions that tend to divide their attention and limited resources, particularly the activities and responsibilities that may very well be performed by the BJMP.

"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. 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," Dela Rosa said.

"We maintain our conviction that, whenever necessary, whenever possible, we must take a more holistic approach to our government programs," he further emphasized.

As the Senate approved the bill, Dela Rosa reminded the BJMP leadership of implementing the measure properly, given that the proposed law centered on the trust and confidence in their jail management expertise.

"That popular saying shall always ring true: to whom much is given, much is also expected. Sa bawat provincial at sub-provincial jail na ituturn-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," he said, addressing BJMP Director Ruel Rivera.

Apart from Dela Rosa, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, Majority Leader Joel Villanueva, Senator Ramon Revilla Jr., and Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito were named as authors of SB 2352.

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