No visitors allowed in state prisons for 1 week

Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo

THE Bureau of Corrections (Bucor) has ordered a one-week suspension of visitation privileges in state-run prisons to ensure the welfare of persons deprived of liberty (PDL) amid the rising cases of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the country.

No visitors will be allowed in any of the Bucor facilities for a week beginning Wednesday, March 11, 2020.

The order covers the New Bilibid Prison in Muntilupa City, Leyte Regional Prison, Davao Prison and Penal Farm, Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm, San Ramon Prison and Penal Farm, Sablayan Prison and Penal Farm and Correctional Institute for Women.

The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), for its part, said the suspension of visitation privileges in facilities under their supervision would depend on the discretion of the wardens.

“In the event that suspected cases within the immediate locality where the jail is situated was confirmed or a pronouncement has been made by the Local Chief Executive on temporary suspension of classes or any public gathering to prevent the spread of Covid-19, wardens may suspend the visitation,” BJMP spokesperson Chief Inspector Xavier Solda said in a statement.

“Currently, we are enforcing a no-contact policy among visitors and the PDL,” he added.

The country is under a State of Public Health Emergency with the confirmation of local transmission of Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

As part of preventive measures to stop the spread of the virus, Duterte has also ordered the suspension of classes in all levels in Metro Manila.

The government also urged the public to refrain from holding social gatherings to help stop the spread of the virus.

As of Tuesday, March 10, there have been 24 confirmed Covid-19 cases in the Philippines. (SunStar Philippines)