Muntinlupa protests transfer of Covid-19 patients to Bilibid
The Muntinlupa City Council passed a resolution to protest and oppose the transfer of 18 women PDLs (persons deprived of liberty) who tested positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) from the Correctional Institute for Women in Mandaluyong City to the New Bilibid Prisons in Muntinlupa City.
The city council supports Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi’s position against the transfer of the infected PDLs to Muntinlupa last April 21. Fresnedi denounced the transfer and said it was done without prior coordination with the local government.
The resolution stressed that such transfer cannot be done without prior consultation with the City Government and the people and villages living or residing near and surrounding the Medium Security Compound, Camp Sampaguita and without the prior approval of the Sanggunian.
Further, it cited the Local Government Code of 1991 which mandates all national agencies and offices to conduct periodic consultations with appropriate local government units, non-governmental and people’s organizations, and other concerned sectors of the community before any project or program is implemented in their respective jurisdictions.
According to the LGC 1991 Section 27, “no project or program shall be implemented by government authorities unless the consultations mentioned in Sections 2(c) and 26 hereof are complied with, and prior approval of the sanggunian concerned is obtained.”
Muntinlupa City Council pointed out that the transfer also compromises the safety and health of NBP prisoners as it involves a highly contagious and infectious virus that has affected and continues to affect the health and safety of our constituents in particular and the people of Metro Manila which is the most affected region in terms of number of infected persons.
Following the passing of the resolution, the Committee on Health and Sanitation is set to conduct a public hearing and invite officials from the Bureau of Corrections and all other sectors concerned, including residents of nearby communities in Katarungan Village and Southville 3, to discuss the said transfer.
Meanwhile, Congressmany Ruffy Biazon sent a letter on April 22 to National Action Plan on COVID-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. recommending the transfer of the COVID-19 PDLs to a more secure facility that has the capability to handle these cases pending the evaluation of the isolation facility at the NBP.
Mayor Jaime Fresnedi has yet to consult with the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases appealing the relocation of COVID-19 PDLs back to Mandaluyong or a medical facility.
As of April 23, Muntinlupa City Health Office recorded 129 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the city with 18 deaths and 19 recovered cases. According to the local health office, there are 16 “suspect” cases and 392 “probable” cases in Muntinlupa to date.
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