In an effort to alleviate the living conditions of no less than 3,0000 detainees at the Zamboanga City Jail, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) turned over the completed projects to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) in a simple ceremony on November 23, 2021.
The completed projects were received by JSUPT NATHANEL L ALJAS, Warden of the Male Dormitory; and JINSP FREDELYN ZAMORA, OIC, ZCJ Female Dormitory.
In his remarks JSUPT ALJAS, on behalf of the BJMP, thanked the ICRC who was represented by Jean-Sebastien Bru, ICRC Water and Habitat project manager based in Manila. JSUPT ALJAS also said he hopes that the partnership between ICRC and BJMP will continue because the PERSONS DEPRIVED of LIBERTY (PDL) deserve humane living conditions. JINSP FREDELYN ZAMORA, on behalf of the female detainees, also expressed gratitude to ICRC.
The jail-improvement projects included the provision of two 50-cubic meter water tanks and 8-cubic meter cistern tank powered by 5 water pumps. Re-piping of the detention facility’s water system was also done.
The BJMP’s 118 KVA generator set used during power outages was also repaired. In addition, 41 modern solar lamps were installed around the perimeter of the city jail compound, which improved the overall lighting of the facility. To make the city jail safer, electrical wirings were also repaired.
The ventilation system inside the jail cells vastly improved with the installation of 15 industrial blower fans, 12 exhaust fans and 7 ventilation ducts.
Some sections of the jail roofing were also improved by adding heat insulation that vastly improved the cooling of the area especially during hot days.
A number of detainees said their jail cells are now much cooler. More importantly, they can now take a bath daily and wash their clothes because of abundant water. Hygiene among detainees—which is crucial in a pandemic situation—also vastly improved.
Last year, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the ICRC extended help to the Zamboanga City Jail by providing face masks for detainees and personnel, personal protective equipment, alcohol, and disinfecting materials and fumigation services.
The ICRC is an independent humanitarian organization that strives to protect and assist victims of armed conflict and violence. It visits Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDL), particularly those arrested in relation to the conflict, to ensure their proper treatment, health and living conditions.