House approves bill seeking to create separate facility for high-level offenders

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 2) — The House of Representatives on Wednesday approved on third reading a bill that seeks to establish a facility exclusive for high-level offenders.

House Bill No. 10355, or the Separate Facility for High-Level Offenders Act, states that there shall be an established “separate, secure, and sanitary penitentiary for the custody and safe keeping of high-level offenders serving sentence in the prison facilities of the Bureau of Corrections.”

High-level offenders are those convicted of heinous crimes and are identified by the Director General of the BuCor as high risk.

The bill proposes to build at least three separate facilities, one each in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The facility shall be situated away from general population and other inmates, preferably within a military establishment or an island separate from the mainland.

Location should also ensure there will be no unwarranted contact or communication from outside of the penal institution.

Moreover, the facility should be equipped with surveillance cameras and security systems capable of monitoring inmates, as well as enhanced security features on locks, doors, and perimeters.

The Senate approved a similar bill in December 2019.