The four sub-colonies of Iwahig Corrections Facility (ICF) will be subjected to a one-week ‘hard lockdown’ on April 14-21 as a measure to help contain the spread of COVID-19.

The ‘hard lockdown’ also serves as a precautionary measure of the prison management and extension, if necessary, will depend on the situation within the week.

ICF information officer CTO II Levi Evangelista said Tuesday that while the  prison management has implemented a lockdown since the pandemic started in 2020, the ‘hard lockdown’ to be implemented will prohibit entry and exit of community members and more than 200 personnel in Montible, Iwahig (Central), Sta. Lucia, and Inagawan sub-colonies for a week.

“Initiative ng Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm (IPPF) na mag-come up sa ganong decision since ito naman ay reservation, hindi na rin natin hinintay na ‘yong ating local na IMT na mag-decide pa for us na i-lockdown. Ito ‘yong action taken immediately ng administration ng IPPF upon the recommendation of the deputy superintendent for security and operations,” Evangelista said.

“Although ‘yong lockdown namin ay since simula noong pumutok ang pandemic up to present, mahigpit ‘yong ginagawa na security measures patungkol sa pandemya ang Iwahig. This time ay mas lalo lang pinaigting o pinahigpit ang pagla-lockdown dahil sa recently nagkaroon ng case sa Iwahig,” he explained.

He added that the identified direct contacts of late Fr. Carmelo Borces, who died from COVID-19, all tested negative.

“[Ang] objective ng administration ng Iwahig dito ay para hindi na lalong lumawak if just in case na may mag-positive sa amin. Walang personnel neither sa community or dependents namin ang lalabas o papasok muna [ng ICF premises],” he said.

“Ang administration naman would just like to see to it na wala na, hindi na lumaganap sa iba pa ‘yong sakit na ito if ever na meron pa positibo rito,” he added.

The management is seeking for the understanding of the public and the relatives of persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) on the decision implemented by the ICF. The visiting privileges of over 2,000 PDLs committed inside its four sub-colonies has been suspended since March 2020.

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is one of the senior reporters of Palawan News. She covers agriculture, business, and different feature stories. Her interests are collecting empty bottles, aesthetic earrings, and anything that is color yellow.