Consultant on Security and Jail Matters Marco Toral proposes structural improvements on the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC).
Topping the wish list of the new consultant on jail matters is the improvement of the four towers. The towers are too small that the jail security personnel find it difficult to station.
Toral wants the towers to be at least at the level of the enclosure of the facility. It must also be connected to each other with a catwalk like the structure of the Cebu City Jail, which is just located at the opposite side of the facility in Barangay Kalunasan, Cebu City.
Governor Hilario P. Davide III has approved the proposed improvement, according to Toral. The governor inspected the site last Saturday, August 31.
Aside from the flawed security structure of the facility, Toral also confirmed the earlier claim that the facility is overcrowded and suggested possible solutions to the problem.
He said, “Our jail is actually designed to comfortably accommodate 1400 inmates. Right now we have almost 1,700. However, we still have space where we can build additional cells, if the need arises.”
He further stated that they are looking at the possibility of building a separate facility for drug dependents to decongest the prison cells.
In his first few days at the facility, Toral said they have been able to address some of the problems that beset the facility like the lack of vehicles used to transport the prisoners for court hearings.
At some point, they needed to transport 60 inmates to Argao, but because of the lack of transportation, the hearing was cancelled.
At the Capitol’s motor pool, they were able to find a military truck that was returned to the province. The truck only needed minor repairs. The inmates are put up an improvised cage to the truck and even painted it with orange-the emblem color that usually designates the prisoners.
“In fact na gamit na ni namo last Tuesday sa Argao,” he said.
Toral added that they were able to repair some areas of the facility like the ceiling in the second floor where the visitors usually pass in watching the dancing inmates’ monthly presentation. They also provided a helipad at the demonstration ground.
In his visit to the CPDRC, governor Davide praised the inmates for the good behavior they have shown.
New activities, including religious, have been introduced.A religious choir has just been formed. Davide quipped he might as well bring the Capitol choir to the facility for a sort of choir contest. (Xerxes Alkuino)