The Philippine Prison System Breaks Free of Stereotypes
with New Leadership
THE MANAGEMENT STYLE OF BUCOR DIRECTOR GENERAL GERALD Q. BANTAG IS THE KEY TO LASTING CHANGE.
Often the setting for many a harrowing narrative in the movies about prison life, the New Bilibid Prison (NBP), under the management of Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Undersecretary Director General Gerald Bantag, breaks free of its former image. Through the leadership of Gen. Bantag, the mandate of reforming lives is being enacted through programs that will benefit persons deprived of liberty (PDLs), the community,
and the nation as a whole.
by Maan D'Asis Pamaran
Photography by Daniel Soriano
The classic action films and the documentaries shot by foreign filmmakers did nothing to prepare the LEAGUE team as they arrived at the Muntinlupa facility that was built to resemble a fortress. After security checks were made and the team was escorted inside the building, we noticed that it looks a lot like any other cavernous government office with nondescript walls and varnished wooden stairs. It was only after we saw the gated entrance of the Maximum Security Compound that we were reminded which government office this is.
A balcony on one side of the structure overlooks the buildings of the penitentiary, which house those who have been sentenced to 30 years or more. This is maximum security, where the residents are supposedly the most dangerous members of society. There they were, on that sunny morning, minding their own business, milling around in their orange attires, while being careful not to congregate. Even there, they were mindful of catching COVID-19.
To the left, there are new buildings being built to decongest the jail cells. On the right, a hospital facility is under construction. This revitalized version of the Bilibid, by a lean team—selected from the BJMP and trusted friends of Gen Bantag from the Philippine Marines and the PNPA Kaagapay Class of 1996.
GET 30% OFF EVERYTHING.
We are always looking for new and exciting opportunities. Let's connect.
0915 239 8547