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Philippines: over 200 inmates of Ormoc Jail get better facilities

01-11-2010 News Release

Manila (ICRC) – More than 200 inmates of Ormoc City Jail will enjoy better water supply and ventilation, plus a new kitchen, following structural improvements initiated by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

The renovation projects began in August and the upgraded areas will be handed over today to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), bringing improved living conditions for the inmates.

"The ICRC identified Ormoc City Jail as one of the priority jails for 2010. Renovation projects like this one are part of our strategy of supporting the BJMP's efforts to improve the living conditions of inmates," said Andres Casal, the ICRC's water and habitat coordinator.

The ICRC refurbished the jail's kitchen by installing three stoves, a stainless-steel preparation table, a sink and tiled flooring, and installed a toilet outside. The Geneva-based humanitarian organization also improved the jail's existing water tank and installed an additional 4,000-litre tank, to ensure that inmates have reliable access to safe drinking water. Finally, ventilation was enhanced by removing a concrete wall in the main cell building and replacing it with steel bars.

The ICRC promotes dignity and respect for those detained in relation to armed conflict, by monitoring their treatment and living conditions. In the Philippines, the ICRC launched the "Call for Action" process to help the authorities upgrade prison infrastructure, tuberculosis management in jails, and the criminal justice process.

"The Call for Action process is a three-pronged approach that will benefit all detainees. With the support of agencies like the BJMP, we will be able to do more for those who suffer from the consequences of overcrowding in places of detention," said Casal.

Nearly 13,000 detainees in 27 BJMP jails and four provincial jails have benefited from ICRC infrastructure projects between January and August 2010, as part of the Call for Action process. The ICRC has initiated similar technical projects in Tacloban City Jail, which now has a new infirmary and kitchen, together with an improved water system.

For further information, please contact:
Anastasia Isyuk, ICRC Manila, tel: +63 918 907 21 25
Socorro Pancipanci, ICRC Manila, tel: +63 908 884 2181