Iwahig Corrections Facility (ICF) said it has yet to decide on when it can resume the visiting privileges of their inmates, on account of the risk posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

ICF Supt. Raul Levita said Wednesday that they are still waiting for the lifting of all quarantine controls in the province before considering the reopening of ICF to the public.

If the quarantine controls are lifted, he said the management will still implement an additional 21-day lockdown to ensure the safety of employees and PDLs committed inside its four sub-colonies.

“Wala kaming date na tina-target kasi hinihintay din namin na ma-lift lahat ng quarantine status sa Palawan. Plus after niya ma-lift, may extension kami ng quarantine just to make sure na safe na sa labas,” he said.

“Saka lang uli mari-resume ‘yong ating visiting privilege with the approval ng central office,” Levita added.

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Since the start of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) on March 15, about 2,789 PDLs have not been allowed to accept visits from their relatives and family.

Levita said that to help the PDLs cope, the prison management continues to provide reformation programs.

He said that PDLs understood that the temporary suspension of their visiting privileges will benefit their own welfare and safety against the virus.

“Continuous pa rin yong reformation programs natin, may sports and recreation pa rin tayo sa loob, education, meron pa rin minsan mga seminars na ginaganap sa loob, within lang din sa loob,” he said.

Levita added that based on their meeting city tourism council, he said that he will still not open the ICF even other tourism destinations in the city resume their operations.

ICF is known to its historical buildings, souvenir shops and Balsahan falls inside the central sub-colony premises.

“Siguro kung mag-open kami ay hindi muna full blast. Sa isang area ay limited lang ang magiging guest namin for the whole day. Kunyare ang Balsahan, pwedeng hundred persons lang a day na guest ang tatanggapin. Mga historical sites natin same as, ganon din,” Levita said.

“Magli-limit muna kami para hindi masyadong crowded agad. Alam ko na-miss ng mga tao ang lugar pero ili-limit pa rin namin ang pagpasok ng mga tao sa bawat araw,” he added.

Meanwhile, Levita said that there are still parole grantees included in the list of the Bureau of Corrections (BUCOR) which were recently freed.

“Yong mga parolado namin ay kino-coordinate namin sa parole officer dito sa Puerto Princesa dahil most of them ay taga-ibang lugar. Yong pag-aasikaso pa lang ng kanilang travel authorities ay very tedious na sa city,” he said.

The ICF offered a temporary holding area for the parole grantees who are still provided food by the prison management even if they are already considered released individuals.

Some of them had already stayed for a month while waiting for their travel authorities to be released by the city.

“Pinapakain sila doon kasi kung palalabasin ko sila dala ang kanilang pamasahe, hindi ‘yon magiging sapat kasi ilang araw pa silang mag-i-stay sa city para makakuha ng travel authority so ang question, saan sila titira? Baka maubos ang pera nila so mas problema siya ng city kaya naka-hold muna sila,” he said.

“Nong last time kasi na sasakay na sila ng barko, hindi naman natuloy yong barko kaya bumalik na lang kami. Buti na lang hindi pa kami nakakakuha ng ticket. Ewan ko lang kung kailan uli yong biyahe ng barko,” Levita explained.


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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.