By Benjamin Pulta

BuCor director general Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. (File photo)

MANILA – The Bureau of Corrections (Bucor) is optimistic that its long-awaited projects to update the country’s penal facilities will be realized after its budget for 2024 rose to PHP7.4 billion.

Speaking at the New Year’s call of BuCor officials held at its headquarters on Tuesday, BuCor director general Gregorio Catapang Jr. said this is 23 percent higher than the PHP6.1 billion budget for 2023.

Aside from this, he said an additional PHP1 billion budget would be transferred to BuCor from the Department of Public Works and Highways for the construction of the “supermax” jail facility for those convicted of heinous crimes.

“Napakarami nating gagawin sa BuCor kaya sumakay na kayo kasi baka kayo maiwan (There is a lot to be done here in the BuCor so all of you should join the ride or you would be left out) ,” Catapang told BuCor officials.

BuCor Deputy Director General Al Perreras has been tasked to immediately convene the Program and Budgeting Advisory Committee to finalize the Financial Year (FY) 2024 Annual Procurement Plan.

The planned programs include a finalized Table of Organization and Equipment so that BuCor will have a pyramidal chain of command, deployment of K9 to all operating prison and penal farms outside Metro Manila, CCTV systems in all operating prisons and penal farms (OPPFs) which can be monitored at the national headquarters and command and control center at the Director’s Quarter, earthmoving equipment for BuCor’s development projects like pay loader, backhoe and demo trucks, and expedited land titling of all BuCor properties as the bureau’s legal instruments in dealing with the investors and other stakeholders. (PNA)