In response to the worsening prison congestion in Bilibid, the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) has announced on Monday, a massive transfer of inmates to penal farms across the Philippines. A total of 7,500 inmates will be transferred, with 2,500 going to the Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm in Palawan.
The transfer is part of the government’s efforts to address the congestion in Bilibid, which currently houses more than 29,000 inmates, well above its capacity of over 6,300. The overpopulation has led to poor living conditions, health risks, and increased tensions among inmates.
The transfer of 2,500 inmates to Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm is expected to ease the congestion in Bilibid and improve the living conditions of inmates.
Currently, the farm houses more than 4,000 inmates and is known for its focus on rehabilitation through education, skills training, and agriculture.
The remaining 5,000 inmates will be transferred to the Leyte Regional Prison and Davao Prison and Penal Farm, respectively. The transfer is expected to take place anytime soon, BuCor said.
Catapang said the remaining Bilibid convicts would be transferred in batches to regional prisons from 2024 to 2027 as the agency prepares for the closure of the national penitentiary in 2028.
The transfer of inmates to penal farms is a step towards improving the Philippine prison system and ensuring that inmates have access to proper rehabilitation programs.
It is hoped that the transfer will lead to reduced recidivism rates and a safer and more humane prison environment for inmates.