MANILA – The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) will receive on Wednesday 250 transport vehicles that would be distributed to different facilities nationwide.
"This will be the biggest acquisition we have ever received. A total of 250 units will be given today while 72 vehicles have previously been awarded to respective facilities," said Jail Chief Inspector Xavier Solda, BJMP’s community relations service officer.
President Rodrigo Duterte will lead the turnover ceremony at Camp Vicente in Laguna.
This is the biggest acquisition for service vehicles that BJMP made. Solda said the one-time procurement is equal to the total number of vehicles acquired by BJMP in the last two decades.
The vehicles would be used to service detainees awaiting conviction from the detention facility to the court house.
"Ang laki kasi ng problem namin pagdating sa mobility. Meron kasing mga lugar na walang transport vehicles. May mga facilities na nasa isla. May mga nasa malayong part ng provinces. Wala sila magamit," Solda said.
The BJMP, he said, was also criticized particularly on social media for the lack of proper vehicles in transporting prisoners.
"There had been instances where we are reported on social media kasi pinasasakay namin sa motor or public transport. Pero, wala kasi talaga kaming ibang paraan," he said.
He admitted that allocating budget for service vehicles was difficult. President Duterte helped resolved this problem during the “Talk With Troops” last October.
"Bumisita si President sa Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig. Kinausap niya personnel, inalam niya problema and isa sa na-mention ito. And then nagkaroon na ng mga study, bidding, and production process. Then, ito, less than a year meron na," he added.
Each vehicle costs around P900,000.
"Hindi ito basta tumitirik lang kasi ang sinasakay natin dito mga nagaantay ng court hearings so just imagine pag tumirik baka tumakas or kailanganin pa i-rescue," said Solda.
After the turnover ceremony, the vehicles will be brought to its respective facilities from Northern Luzon to Mindanao.
"Priority natin yung pinakamalalaki at pinakamalalayo. Meron kasi na faciities na ‘di kailangan or less ang pangangailangan kasi yung court nasa ibaba or tabi. Mailalakad na lang," Solda explained.
Aside from the vehicles, 117 facilities are currently being constructed, Solda said. -- with a report from Anna Cerezo, ABS-CBN News