City to impose fees on BJMP Certificate of Detention

19 August 2021 – The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, approved on first reading a proposed ordinance for the collection of fees for the issuance of a Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) certificate of detention.

The proposed ordinance stated that the policy only applies to the issuance of a certificate of detention by the BJMP to requesting family members, legal counsel, bondsmen and the like.

Further, such certification shall be limited to the information that contains the name, the period of detention, the case, the result of the case and the name of the person requesting the same.

The proposed ordinance claimed that the certificate of detention shall be signed by the Warden or his assigned personnel where the certificate of detention shall include with it a control number which shall be a basis for reporting how many certificates were issued in a certain period.

The proposed ordinance disclosed that the local government shall collect P100 for every certificate of detention that will be issued by the BJMP where the City Treasury Office will be the one to collect the certification fee and the corresponding official receipt that will be issued shall be presented to the BJMP prior to the issuance of the said certificate to the requesting party.

Moreover, government offices requesting for the issuance of a certificate of detention shall be free of charge and such request shall be considered as a waiver of collection as certified by the jail warden.

The proposed ordinance stipulated that the total fund collection from the BJMP certification fee shall be reported out at the end of the year and will form part of the funds disbursed by the city for its various projects.

According to the proposed measure, the BJMP shall report out how many certifications were issued and how many were paid as well as how many were waived.

The proposed ordinance stipulated that the certificate of detention is usually requested by families of persons deprived of liberty (PDLs), their lawyers and bondsmen and based on the date of the BJMP for the year 2020, the said office was able to issue 13 certifications and for 2019, 10 certificates of detention.

The BJMP is mandated to direct, supervise and control the administration and operation of all district, city and municipal jails nationwide with the pronged task of safekeeping and the overall development of PDLs.

Republic Act (RA) 7160 or the Local Government code of 1991 provided that the function of local government units includes the support to the jails, specifically Section 447 which is to establish and provide for the maintenance and improvement of jails and detention centers, institute sound jail management programs and appropriate funds for detainees and convicted persons in the city.

The local government units may impose and collect such reasonable fees and charges for services rendered where the city had been very supportive in approving the annual budget of the BJMP female and male dorms and for the year 2020, the female dorm budget provided by the city was P2.3 million and the male dorm allocation was P6.3 million. For this year, the female dorm budget was P2.1 million while the male dorm was allotted P5.7 million. – Dexter A. See