MANILA - Some 250 inmates from the national penitentiary have been transferred to the Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm in Palawan due to congestion at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).
Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Ronald dela Rosa said they chose reformed inmates from the NBP maximum security compound.
"Itong mga drug offender na Pilipino, sinigurado nating nagbabago na. Pero 'yung talagang dumidiskarte pa rin, hindi natin ililipat, dapat tutukan dito," he said.
"Basta hindi ito mga high profile. Mga high profile siniguro nating dito lang sa Bilibid dahil may SAF dito na mag-guwardiya, mas istrikto, mas maganda," he added.
Dela Rosa said they also considered the relatives of the inmates, who are expected to finish their sentence at the penal farm.
"Maraming opportunity doon, mas maganda doon. Marami silang reform programs, rehabilitation program, agricultural activities, dito wala na, congested na tayo," Dela Rosa said.
The national penitentiary in Muntinlupa City has a total population of 25,000. The maximum security compound, which can only hold up to some 5,000 inmates, is running well over capacity at 18,000 prisoners.
On June 29, 2018, BuCor already moved some 500 inmates to the Sablayan Prison and Penal Farm in Occidental Mindoro.
Before the year ends, BuCor plans to transfer some 5,000 other inmates to different penal colonies nationwide.