Church ministry renews call to decongest prisons amid extreme heat

April 25, 2024 - 12:17 PM
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Bishop Oscar Jaime Florencio of the Military Ordinariate of the Philippines. (CBCP News)

Concerned by extreme heat and overcrowding in correctional facilities, the Catholic Church’s prison ministry arm has urged the government to expedite the process in decongesting jails.

The bishops conference’s Commission on Prison Pastoral Care (ECPPC) said that “the best and long lasting” solution to the problem lies in the implementation of existing policies to decongest jails.

These include the laws on bail and release on recognizance, the pre-trial release program, and the recent Supreme Court ruling on extending the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) privilege even to those who committed heinous crimes.

“With this, we believe the jails and prison facilities will become less congested hence more habitable,” said ECPPC chairman Bishop Oscar Jaime Florencio of the Military Ordinariate of the Philippines.

The bishop called on the relevant agencies to prioritize the plight of persons deprived of liberties, urging them to take necessary steps to expedite the release of PDLs who should benefit under the said laws.

The ECPPC said its volunteers in the dioceses have been assisting the jail personnel by providing basic needs such as electric and exhaust fans in some jails.