Catapang plans to relocate all Bilibid inmates by 2028

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 25) — Acting Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Gregorio Catapang on Wednesday said he hopes to relocate all New Bilibid Prison (NBP) inmates by 2028 to address the congestion problem in the facility.

“Removing everyone in here in New Bilibid Prison will be a five-year timeline. It will start now and it will end in 2028 just in time when President (Ferdinand) Marcos (Jr.) will step down,” he told CNN Philippines’ The Source.

Catapang said 16 regional prison facilities across the country are needed to transfer all persons deprived of liberty from the main state penitentiary. It currently houses around 30,000 inmates, which is five times its 6,000 capacity.

Catapang said he plans to start transferring inmates in March to facilities in Palawan, Davao, and Leyte. He admitted it would be “a logistical nightmare.”

“We have started planning. Our plan is travel them up to Sangley Point where we will be asking the Philippine Navy to transport them initially to Davao -- 2,500. That will happen by end of March, and then another 2,500 maybe by April to Palawan. And then before the start of the rainy season another 2,500 in Leyte,” he explained.

“This will be a hard movement because these are prisoners or inmates, so we have to make sure they don’t escape along the way,” he added.

Once all the inmates are transferred, the site in Muntinlupa will be transformed into a government center, Catapang said.