MANILA, Sept 8 (Mabuhay) — The Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) has started preparations for the establishment of isolated prison facilities for heinous crime convicts after the bill proposing the same has lapsed into law.

BuCor deputy director Milfredo Melegrito will head the preliminary studies to be undertaken by the agency for the implementation of Republic Act 11928.

“Sa ngayon ay study group lang ito ginawa namin para kapag meron nagtawag ay ready po kami (For now it’s just like a study group so anytime we are called we would be ready),” BuCor spokesperson Gabriel Chagclag told reporters Wednesday.

The group led by Melegrito, Chaclag said, is preparing for the eventuality that the Department of Justice (DOJ) would ask for inputs from the BuCor regarding the creation of a technical working group (TWG) that will craft the implementing rules and regulations of the law.

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla earlier said decongestion of the country’s prisons is one of the primary considerations of his administration.

Remulla has made ocular visits to the facilities in Nueva Ecija and the possible upgrade of the Sablayan Penal Colony Prison in Mindoro island as possible sites where persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) can be transferred.

RA 11928 mandates the government to build and maintain “a secure, clean, and adequately equipped and sanitary” national penitentiary for those who have been convicted of heinous crimes, or sentenced to life imprisonment.

It defines heinous crimes as “grievous, odious and hateful offenses and which by reason of their inherent or manifest wickedness, viciousness, atrocity, and perversity or repugnant and outrageous to the common standards and norms of decency and morality in a just, civilized and orderly society.”

The law requires at least one prison facility for heinous crime convicts in Luzon, Visayas, and in Mindanao. (MNS)