(From left to right) Incoming Iwahig Corrections Facility superintendent CSupt. Joel Calvelo poses for picture taking after the change of command ceremony with the outgoing CSupt. Raul Levita at the ICF building 4 on Tuesday

Former National Bilibid Prison (NBP)-North superintendent CSupt. Joel Calvelo assumed the leadership of the Iwahig Corrections Facility (ICF) on Tuesday and promised to speed up the deliberation and computation of the Good Conduct Time Allowance for prison decongestion.

Calvelo said during the change of command ceremony with CSupt. Raul Levita that he wants to apply the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) processes of the NBP-North which he chaired the Management, Screening, and Evaluation Committee (MSEC), in ICF.

He said the bureau has an ongoing effort in conducting seminars for the MSEC to better understand the GCTA computation processes.

“Ako ang chairman ng MSEC doon sa National Bilibid Prison particularly sa NBP-North, marami na kaming programang ginawa doon, kasama lahat ng reformation officer na i-identify, i-classify, compute-in at i-deliberate at ipa-recheck kung tama ba ang aming ginawa. Saka namin siya iri-recommend una for release, pangalawa for application ng parole, pangatlo for application ng executive clemency. Gusto ko, ‘yong ginawa namin sa NBP ay gagawin din namin dito,” he said.

“Sisiguraduhin ko na bago ako umalis dito ay marami akong mapalaya, matulungan lumaya, matulungan mag-apply ng executive clemency. Kasi ang GCTA ay kailangan sa pag-apply ng parole at executive clemency,” he said.

It can be recalled that in 2019, some released individuals were ordered to surrender back to seven penal prisons across the country for their GCTA recomputation. The Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) have revised the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the GCTA law in 2019.

Aside from prison decongestion, Calvelo also pledged that no corruption and entry of illegal contrabands will happen inside the ICF during his term of office.

He stressed that putting good personnel in gates will be helpful to secure and that it will materialize.

“Kung may sariling pondo ang Iwahig, gagamitin ko ito nang maayos, ng naaayon sa pangangailangan ng PDL, ng Iwahig. Hindi ko ito hahayaan na mapunta lang sa personal na bulsa, na hindi magamit nang tama. Lahat ng proyekto ay itutuloy-tuloy natin ‘yan para sa kagandahan ng ating PDL at Iwahig,” he said.

Training and seminars will also be provided to personnel of ICF deployed in the four sub-colonies of Iwahig, Inagawan, Montible, and Sta. Lucia to be more skillful.

Calvelo who is also an agriculturist himself said he will use his experience for utilizing penal prison land areas for planting high-value crops, fruit-bearing trees, and rice.

ICF previously said it is now utilizing its decade-long idle land with 60 hectares in Montible and Iwahig for rice production.

Under his leadership, he said there will be a “gradual revamp” of employees so the ICF could maintain its top performance in Office Performance Commitment Review (OPCR) in 2020.

“Kung meron man ako gagawing revamp, gradual lang, hindi totally revamp. Dahil kung maganda ang performance ng Iwahig, number one ang Iwahig sa buong BuCor pagdating sa performance, reporting at activities. Kapag pinalitan ko ang tao, sigurado ‘pag pinalitan ko ang tao, hindi na tayo mag-number one,” he said.

“Ang gagawin ko, kagaya ng sinabi ko kanina, ako ay isang agriculturist, hahanapin ko ‘yong agriculturist personnel. Gagamitin natin sa tama, ilalagay natin sila katulad sa livelihood, sa Montible meron tayo rice farm, gagamitin ko nang tama ang personnel, ilalagay ko para makatuwang ko sa pagpapaunlad ng ating agriculture sa kolonya,” he added.

Levita on the other hand said Calvelo told him that projects and programs implemented during his time will just be continued even the commitment for environmental protection and COVID-19 measures.

Since 2020, ICF has had series of operations to monitor the illegal logging activities within its land properties for charcoal production, upland farming, and lumber trade.

“Nag-usap naman kami ni bagong superintendent Calvelo na ipagpapatuloy niya ang projects na nasimulan ko and kaisa ko siya sa pagiging environmentalist at pangangalagaan pa rin ng bagong superintendent ang kagubatan ng Iwahig,” he said.

Levita is still waiting for his new assignment from the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) after serving as superintendent for over a year.

He was also declared as the city’s ‘adopted son’ in July 2020 citing his efforts to allow residents to use water supply from the sources within the premises of ICF during the dry season in 2020. Even his dedication to helping locals from nearby barangays of the penal prison was also recognized by the city government.

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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.