Aside from celebrating its 111th founding anniversary on Monday, November 16, Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm (IPPF) in Puerto Princesa City has something more to celebrate this year.
Dubbed as a “prison without walls,” the Bureau of Correction (BuCor) hailed IPPF as Philippines “Best Operating Prison and Penal Farm” after outwitting other six PPFs across the country. The plaque of recognition was given during BuCor’s 110th founding anniversary celebration on November 12 in Manila.
Zero report of escape and violence from January to June 2015 made IPPF to secure the recognition, said Prison Supt. Antonio Cruz who was also awarded as “Best Superintendent” by BuCor.
“Ang estado natin bilang zero escape at zero prison violence ay isang malaki pangyayari sa kasaysayan natin ngayong taon,” said Cruz.
He further attributed the award to the cooperation of more or less 3,000 inmates at IPPF’s four sub colonies. “Kung hindi dahil sa kanila baka hindi namin nakamit ang pagiging number one,” said Cruz.
He also thanked the public and private agencies, the civic society organizations and about 100 IPPF employees who, in one way or another, contributed to attain their goal.
IPPF also bagged four more special awards as follows: Model Custodial Guard – Prison Guard Gary Garcia, Model Civilian Employee – Melanie Gacott, Nutritionist Dietitian, and Model Reformation Officer – Fr. Jose Ruel Tuale.
IPPF was established in 1904 during the American occupation. With a sprawling 26,000-hectare area, it was considered as one of the world’s largest open prison where majority of its inmates are only put under minimum security.
In 1955, deserving colonists have started cultivating colony lands following former President Ramon Magsaysay’s administrative order allowing the distribution of such.