Dela Rosa wants to move Bilibid to Nueva Ecija
MANILA, Philippines – New Bureau of Corrections chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa wants the New Bilibid Prison to be transferred to a new mega-facility in Nueva Ecija.
In a one-on-one interview with Rappler, Dela Rosa said that if this were to push through, this would solve all the problems of the national penitentiary.
"Kung ako, oo, gusto ko talagang mag-gawa ng mega-facility na brand new. Solved na ang problema ko wala na akong problema kung merong gano'n (If you ask me, yes, I really want to build a megafacility that's brand new. My problem would be solved, I wouldn't have problems if we had it)," Dela Rosa said in the interview aired on Friday, May 11.
During the interview, Dela Rosa highlighted the problem of severe congestion inside the existing New Bilibid Prison (NBP). According to the retired top cop, the Maximum Security Compound alone of the NBP was built to only accommodate 5,000 inmates. It is now packed with over 18,000, giving jail officers a difficult time to watch over all of them.
He thinks, however, that the project to build a mega prison facility may not fly under his watch as he is also setting his sights at high elected posts.
"In as much as I want it to happen [under my watch], I don't believe it will happen," he said.
Why Nueva Ecija? Dela Rosa was referring to the repeatedly recycled plan of transferring Bilibid to Nueva Ecija, first approved in 2013 under President Benigno Aquino III. (READ: What ails the BuCor modernization law?)
The government had planned over and over to build a mega prison in the northern region instead of individually improving on the corrections facilities the BuCor handles.
By November 2017, the government had begun floating the possibility of scrapping the grand project and just settling for a medium-sized facility, with then Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre announcing that President Rodrigo Duterte prefers that the prisons remain separated and "regionalized." – Rappler.com