Lawmaker pushes to double the budget for prisoners’ food, medicine

PHILIPPINE STAR/ JOVEN CAGANDE

A SOLON on Tuesday pushed to double the budget for prisoners’ subsistence and medical allowance, citing current rates are too low.  

“The P70 a meal and P15 medical fee a day are not enough for the people in jail,” Party-list Rep. France L. Castro said at a plenary hearing for the Department of Interior and Local Government’s (DILG) 2023 budget.   

“We hope that this can be doubled.” 

Nueva Vizcaya Rep. Luisa L. Cuaresma, sponsor of the DILG budget, supported the call.   

“An increase in the fund for food and medicine will help prisoners to not be in pitiful situations,” Ms. Cuaresma said.  

Many jails in the Philippines fail to meet the minimum United Nations standards given inadequate food, poor nutrition, and unsanitary conditions.  

During the Department of Justice budget briefing on Sept. 6, the agency said it ordered the Public Attorney’s Office, whose 2023 budget increased by 6% to P5.03 billion, to look for inmates eligible for parole to decongest jails. — Kyanna Angela Bulan 

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