MANILA –Some 44 inmates of Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm (IPPF) in Palawan have been granted pardon as part of the government’s effort to declog the country’s penal facilities, Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Director General Benjamin De Los Santos said on Sunday.
Delos Santos ordered their release during his visit at the IPPF during the sixth and final leg of his nationwide visit of various prisons and penal farms of the country.
The BuCor chief said the inmates have already served their sentences with good conduct time allowance.
The inmates, however, remain in prison due to the slow processing of release papers.
Since De Los Santos assumed office in December, he created a task force to speed up records management to solve the delay of processing papers in the bureau.
He said the priority program has eased backlogs and expedited decongestion in prison facilities.
Because of the task force, the BuCor was able to free last March around 234 inmates from the Leyte Prison and Penal Farm and another 34 from the Sablayan Prison and Penal Farm in Occidental Mindoro.
On the other hand, Delos Santos expressed his intention to make the IPPF more productive.
He observed “the agricultural potential of IPPF for rice, coffee and fruit bearing trees considering a vast 23 hectare reservation.”
“Ecotourism is also being planned as part of income generation both for the PDLs (persons deprived of liberty) and Bucor,” De Los Santos said in a statement.
The BuCor intends to put up more facilities at the IPPF which could accommodate 30,000 inmates.
Earlier, 66 inmates from the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) have been released.
BuCor operates and supervises the NBP in Muntinlupa City, the Women’s Correctional Institute in Mandaluyong, Davao Prison and Penal Farm in Davao, IPPF in Palawan, Sablayan Prison and Penal Farm in Occidental Mindoro, Leyte Regional Prison in Abuyog, and San Ramon Prison and Penal Farm in Zamboanga City.