The Philippines continues to grapple with prison overcrowding as more and more people are locked up in jail, the jail authorities said on Tuesday.
The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) of the Philippines, which is a government agency to direct, supervise and control all jails in the country, said the percentage congestion in jail facilities across the country is at 441.72 percent.
The bureau said the increased congestion percentage in jails from 2016 to 2018 was due to intensified anti-crime operations of law-enforcement agencies, particularly against illegal drugs.
As of March 2019, the bureau said it accommodates 136,881 inmates even as the 476 jail faculties nationwide under its management can only cater to almost 30,000.
Of the total number of inmates, BJMP data showed about 96,620 or 70.65 percent of the total population in jail facilities face cases related to illegal drugs.
BJMP officer-in-charge Allan Iral told a press conference that the congestion rate at jail facilities in the Metro Manila is 608 percent, higher than the nearly 442 percent average nationwide.
Iral stressed the need to build more jail facilities across the country, especially in Metro Manila, to decongest the overcrowded jail facilities.
Even before the current Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who took office on June 30, 2016, launched his anti-drugs crackdown, the Philippines already had congested jail facilities.