CPDRC jail guards from COVID-19-infected barangays ordered not to report for work

Gov. Garcia says inmates in CPDRC will be included in massive rapid test for virus

By: Rosalie Abatayo April 21,2020 - 09:25 AM

The Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center | (CDN file photo)

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu Provincial Capitol has ordered jail guards and other personnel from Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC) who reside in coronavirus disease (COVID-19)-infected barangays in Cebu City to no longer report for work to prevent the spread of the virus inside the penitentiary that holds over 1,700 individuals.

Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia said she has tasked CPDRC Warden Reynaldo Valmoria to conduct an inventory of all personnel reporting to CPDRC to determine if they come from areas in the city that have cases of COVID-19.

“Karon, ang akong gi-instruction is that kinahanglan mag-imbentaryo sila kinsa ni atong mga jail guards, kinsa ni atong mga CSU ug blue guards, ug mismo ang mga personnel sa opisina. Kung kini sila ilang address diri sa syudad [is an] infected barangay, then tell them nga dili na sila mo-report for work. Dili na lang usa sila moadto sa CPDRC,” Garcia said.

(My instruction is to conduct an inventory on who our jail guards are, who are our CSU and blue guards, and personnel in the offices. If their address is here in an infected barangay, then tell them not to report for work first. They shouldn’t go to the CPDRC for the meantime.)

With visiting privileges suspended since early in March, Garcia said the only agent for the spread of the virus in the jail would be its personnel who live in infected areas.

“The only contact nila ron is kaning mga jail guards nga moanha. Mao na nga immediately, kung gikan na ni og mga infected areas or barangays, ingon ko nga ayaw na na sila pareporta,” the governor added.

(The only contact of the inmates are these jail guards who work. That’s why if they come from infected areas or barangays, I told them not to report for work first.)

Garcia, however, clarified that jail guards who will be told to cease reporting because their addresses are in an infected barangay will still receive their salaries in full, the same with the workers in the Capitol who are on work from home arrangement.

The province made the move following the confirmation of COVID-19 cases in Cebu City Jail, which sits right across CPDRC in Barangay Kalunasan here.

On Monday, April 20, 2020, the Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella confirmed that a 41-year-old male inmate from the city jail died from COVID-19.

An official from the city jail also confirmed that one of their jail officers have contracted the virus.

READ: BJMP-7 confirms 1 jail officer infected with COVID-19

Garcia said the development is rather alarming, considering that the jails, both the CCJ and the CPDRC, are holding inmates that are more than their ideal capacity.

The CCJ, built for only 1,900 inmates, are now holding over 6,000 individuals.

On the other hand, CPDRC now has around 1,700 inmates which is about 200 persons more than its ideal capacity of 1,500.

Since August 2018, CPDRC has ceased accepting inmates after its population reached almost 4,000.

Garcia said  the reduction of the population inside the jail is a significant help in preventing the spread of COVID-19 in CPDRC.

“Because of Col. Valmoria’s implementation of the moratorium, around 1,700 nalang karon. It helped because can you imagine if ingon ato ka congested, you cannot even think of hygiene,” Garcia said.

Garcia also said the inmates in CPDRC will also be included in the massive targeted testing that the province is planning to conduct.

In a press conference on Monday, April 20, 2020, Garcia announced that the province is eyeing to purchase some 50,000 rapid test kits to use in the targeted testing.

The rapid testing, Garcia explained, is one of the first steps that the province will be taking as it heads to a modified enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

As of April 20, Cebu province has maintained the number of COVID-19 cases at three with two recoveries and one death. /bmjo

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TAGS: cease work, covid-19-infected barangays, CPDRC, jail officers

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