The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday announced new guidelines for prosecutors’ reducing the recommended bail for temporary liberty in criminal cases at PHP10,000 for indigents.

In Department Circular 011, the prosecutor in cases involving indigent respondents shall only indicate 50 percent of the recommended bail as stated in the 2018 Bail Bond Guide, or PHP10,000, whichever is lower.

The new rule applies to all cases undergoing inquest or preliminary investigation of indigents if they do not include punishable by death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment.

“With this newest policy, the Department expects the release of many detained individuals on bail,” the DOJ said in a statement.

The reduced bail is eyed to prevent the detention of individuals for crimes that are in fact bailable but are unable to afford the amount set by the court upon the recommended bail.

The measure was brought about as an offshoot of the recently concluded Justice Sector Coordinating Council dialogue (JSCC) last month which included discussions on overpopulation and congestion of jail and detention facilities.

In the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa, the 330 percent congestion rate caused many of the problems facing the Bureau of Corrections including corruption, contraband smuggling and inmate entitlement. (PNA)