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PIA Press Release
2006/11/29

DILG moves to devolve jails fire protection to LGUs

Dagupan (29 November) -- DESPITE opposition by mayors and governors, the Department of Interior and local Government (DILG) is seeking to devolve jail management and fire protection functions from the national to the local levels, a department official told the Senate Monday.

DILG Undersecretary Marius Corpus, DILG undersecretary revealed this during a hearing by the committees on public order and illegal drugs, local government, and finance.

Len Sicat of the League of Cities of the President however said municipal and city mayors were opposed to the proposed devolution if it would not be funded by the national government.

In the same hearing, Jail Chief Superintendent Antonio Cruz of the BJMP said that P60,041 inmates in various municipal and city jails were still under the BJMP while 27,522 have been placed under the management of the provinces and sub-provinces.

He instead proposed that the devolution be phased according to the capability of local government units (LGUs).

Cruz noted that while BJMP inmates get a food allowance of P40 per capita per day, LGU inmates got between P15 and P55. He added that jail guards' training in LGUs were not uniform.

Corpus admitted to the wide disparity between the management in jails controlled by the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) and those by LGUs.

Senator Franklin Drilon who presided over the hearing, agreed, noting his own experience as justice secretary.

Corpus also revealed the executive department's plan to devolve fire protection and create a single national commission on public safety. (PIA-Pangasinan) [top]

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