EXPEDITE IRR OF PRISON MODERNIZATION LAW,
ESCUDERO URGES DBM
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) should speed up the release of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the Bureau of Correction’s (BuCoR) modernization law in order to pave the way for the much-needed upgrading of its facilities and salaries of prison personnel, Senator Chiz Escudero, chairman of the Senate finance committee, said.
Prison officials have been lamenting the encumbrance of the full implementation of the law, saying that the DBM has failed to comment on the IRR despite the go signal of the Departments of Finance and Justice, and the Civil Service Commission.
“The delay in the release of the IRR further debilitates the present sub-human conditions of the country’s national correction facility and sets it back from achieving modernization and professionalization of its facilities” said Escudero, who was the principal author and sponsor of the measure in Senate.
The law has been signed by President Benigno Aquino III in May 2013 and under the law, the IRR should have been out and signed 90 days after its effectivity.
“We have pushed for the passing of this law because we wanted to overhaul and upgrade BuCor to cope with the modern demands of penology,” Escudero pointed out.
Escudero said the non-release of the IRR is impeding the BuCor from instituting reform programs “to overhaul its dilapidated facilities, congested prisons and archaic operational system and structure.”
The day-to-day operations of BuCor are still based on the Prison Law of 1917. It has not seen a major legislative updating since 1905, except for a change in its name from Bureau of Prisons.
“I urge the DBM, the DOJ and all agencies involved to expedite the release of the IRR so we can already upgrade the living conditions of our inmates. We want our penal facilities to be reformatory. But with its present state, our jails have become more punitive. This is contrary to the penology standards set by reputable international agencies,” Escudero stressed.
Escudero said the IRR will pave the way for the full implementation of the law to ensure the welfare of inmates, including decent provisions of quarters, food, water and clothing, in compliance with established United Nations standards.
It will likewise upgrade the salaries of BuCor personnel at a ranking system and salary grades similar to its counterpart in the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology which has the lowest Salary Grade 10. Bucor’s lowest is Salary Grade 5. /MP