COVID-19 THREAT

Visiting rights of some C. Visayas jails suspended

By: Rosalie O. Abatayo - Reporter/CDN Digital | March 12,2020 - 05:03 PM
A Talisay City jail guard secures the gate of the Talisay City Jail Female Dormitory. The jail has suspended visiting rights of inmates relatives due to the coronavirus threat. | CDN Digital file photo

OFF-LIMITS TO VISITORS: The Talisay City Jail Female Dormitory has suspended the visiting rights of inmates to combat COVID -19, today, March 12, 2020. |CDN Digital file photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Inmates of at least five district jails in Central Visayas will have to sacrifice seeing their loved ones to prevent the coronavirus disease from penetrating the penitentiaries.

The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology in Central Visayas (BJMP-7) said that effective Thursday, March 12, 2020, visiting privileges are temporarily suspended in the Manjuyod District Jail and the Dumaguete City District Jail Female Dormitory in Negros Oriental; Carmen District Jail in Bohol; and the Carcar City Jail and the Talisay City Jail Female Dormitory in Cebu.

Wardens, visiting rights suspension

Jail Chief Inspector Mary Jane Inopia,  BJMP-7 Community Relations Service chief, said the suspension of the visiting rights would be upon the discretion of the jail wardens upon assessment of the risks in their area.

As of March 11, one confirmed case of the coronavirus disease has been reported in Negros Oriental.

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“Lainlain man gud og date ang mga jail nga nag-schedule [og suspension]. Dili ingon nga magdungan tanan. Apil man na sa assessment sa warden kung needed mga karon dayon,” Inopia told CDN Digital.

(The different jails have different schedules [for the suspension]. It’s not as if they would have to declare the suspension at the same time. It is included in the assessment of the warden if it would be needed immediately.)

Inopia said some jails decided to suspend their visiting privileges next week yet to give ample time to disseminate the information to the families of the inmates.

Danao City Jail in northern Cebu has already announced the suspension of their visiting privileges effective on Friday, March 13.

“The suspension of the visiting privileges is a discretion of the jail warden in coordination with the local chief executive, and the city or municipal health office that has jurisdiction over them,” Inopia said.

No ‘touch’

For jails that did not suspend visitation rights yet, Inopia said their agency had already issued the protocols to be observed by visitors, inmates and jail personnel.

Among these protocols is the prohibition of kissing, hugging and handshaking between visitors and the inmates.

All visitors, inmates and jail personnel shall also wear face masks while inside the jail premises.

For the visitors, their temperatures will have to be checked first. They should also not have cough and colds in order for them to be granted entry./dbs

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TAGS: Bureau of Jail Management and Penology in Central Visayas, coronavirus, Jail visiting rights suspension

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