By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan

BEYOND CAPACITY. Persons deprived of liberty make do with a small electric fan at the Quezon City Police District Station 10 custodial facility on Wednesday (April 3, 2024). The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology is readying efforts to prevent the further spread of summer diseases in its jails as 600 inmates in Metro Manila have already contracted boils (pigsa) amid scorching temperatures. (PNA photo by Joan Bondoc)

MANILA – The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) is readying measures to prevent the further spread of summer diseases in jail facilities.

This came after 600 persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) in jail facilities in the National Capital Region contracted boils or “pigsa” amid sweltering temperatures.

In an interview on Thursday, BJMP chief Jail Director Ruel Rivera said these measures include the installation of additional ventilation systems inside jail facilities.

“And siyempre iyong paglalagay ng mga electric fans, iyong air shelf po na tinatayo. Iyong air shelf po, iyon po ‘yung nasa taas ng bubong kung makita ninyo umiikot po doon, kailangan po iyan. And iyon pagpapaluwag ng mga bintana kung mapapansin natin, kailangan ho talaga ng magandang air ventilation, so iyon ho ang ginagawa ng BJMP (Of course, we put more electric fans. We are also putting an air shelf. The air shelf rotating on top of roofs – it is essential. We are also making sure that windows provide more air ventilation, so that is what the BJMP is doing),” he added.

Rivera also said he has directed BJMP regional directors to coordinate with water concessionaries to ensure enough water supply for PDLs to be able to bathe at least twice a day.

Rivera noted that there are few cases of boils in jails in other regions but he did not give figures.

Boils and jail rash or “rumbo-rumbo” are the two common health concerns in jails, especially during the summer months.

In a separate interview, BJMP spokesperson Chief Insp. Jayrex Bustinera said they do not expect a higher number of boils cases this year, as more jails have been decongested.

He said the bureau recorded 4,545 boil cases among inmates from March to May last year.

“We are expecting, more or less, the same or lesser because we have smaller jail population now. Last year, our congestion rate is 370 percent. Now, we (are) at 334 percent. Our PDLs last during that time of monitoring is 127,000. This year, we have 118,000. There is reduction of almost 10,000,” Bustinera said.

He said the BJMP is in constant coordination with the Department of Health and local government units to ensure the health and wellness of PDLs. (PNA)