Thu, 20 Jan 2022

MANILA - A prison official on Monday said they will wait for the findings of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) before deciding on whether to allow face-to-face visits to persons deprived of liberty (PDLs).

Speaking at the Laging Handa press briefing, Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) spokesperson and Assistant Secretary Gabriel Chaclag said of particular concern is the impact of Omicron, the latest variant of the coronavirus.

"Sa ngayon po, sa guidance siguro ng IATF, doon tayo mag-base ng ating informed decision. Kung ano po ang sasabihin nila dahil may umuusbong na bago na namang variant ay tatalima po tayo (For now, we will base our informed decision on the guidance from the IATF. Since there is a new variant, we will act accordingly)," Chaclag said in an interview with host, Communications Operations Office Undersecretary Rocky Ignacio.

"Noong bago pa iyong news about this new [variant], umaasa tayo na payagan sana ang face-to-face visits. Pero sa ngayon, we will wait and see muna dahil alam ninyo po, Usec. Rocky, zero cases tayo ngayon dito sa(Before the news about the new variant came out, we were hoping to allow face-to-face visits, But right now, we have to wait and see because we have zero cases here at the) NBP and the entire Bucor," Chaclag added.

Reasonable policy

Meanwhile, Chaclag said officials are acting "humanely" in enforcing its mandate to secure prison camps following residents' complaints about the BuCor decision to close a road in Barangay Poblacion, Muntinlupa City.

BuCor closed the road to restrict the access of Katarungan Village residents and to "exercise its mandate of ensuring the safety and security of the prison facility".

Once completed, the control gates will have a "reasonable policy" on who will be given access, including students, teachers, and school officials. (PNA)

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