As the new regional director of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penalogy (BJMP) 7, Supt. Serafin P. Barreto Jr. prioritizes moral development of personnel through their “JAILS First Program” aimed to professionalize jail management.
He cited lack of discipline as a common problem in jail management.
“Pag-uukulan namin ng pansin ang moral welfare ng aming personnel tulad ng kung paano ima-manage ang sweldo upang ‘di maging dahilan para gumawa ng mali at illegal (We will focus on moral welfare development of our personnel like proper salary management to avoid wrong and illegal doings), said Barreto.
He considered issues about Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC) as center of illegal drug trade as mere allegations.
“Anyone can say drugs come from CPDRC. Hindi dapat yan pinaniniwalaan; dapat inimbistiga muna (They shouldn’t be believed immediately; investigation must be conducted first), he expressed.
However, Barreto admitted sneaking illegal drugs inside the facility is possible because majority of inmates have drug-related cases.
“At matatalino din sila, nakakagawa sila ng paraan na makapagpasok. Yung iba nga makapag-trade pa (These inmates are smart. They can make plans to sneak drugs in and even trade),” he expressed.
To ensure jail security, Barreto revealed using K9 police dogs specialized in detecting illegal drugs, bombs and cellular phones.
He said three units were brought from Manila with trainer to be used here in Cebu. He further added CPDRC can borrow these units to assist in its security measures. He also offered free K9 dog training as long as the Province can provide the unit.
He also emphasized BJMP-7’s continued efforts in enhancing personnel capability and utilizing special gadgets to improve jail security.
“We cannot add more searchers yet due to lack of BJMP personnel. We can add more training and use special gadgets such as detectors as well,” explained Barreto.
He admitted BJMP-7 suffers from lack of personnel with only 830 personnel attending to 8,600 inmates region-wide.
As to jail congestion, BJMP-7 will improve its paralegal system to facilitate the release of those qualified to enjoy good conduct time allowance (GPTA) as stated by Republic Act (RA) No.10592, said Barreto.
RA No. 10592 or “An Act Amending Articles 29, 94, 97, 98 and 99 of the Revised Penal Code” grants prisoners deductions from prison sentence if they exemplified good conduct inside facility.
Barreto pointed out this as the most effective way to solve jail congestion.
“Iyan (implementation of GCTA) ang pinaka-effective na paraan, hindi yung gawa ng gawa ng bagong building. Lalaki lang gastos natin niyan (This is the most effective way, not adding more buildings. Building construction would just cost us too much),” he expressed.
City, district and municipal jails are under BJMP management. Barreto assumed his new position last July 2014.