By CNN Philippines Staff, March 17, 2023; CNN Philippines

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 17) — The congestion rate in Philippine jails – earlier said to be among the world’s most crowded – has decreased to 370% from 600% in 2018, according to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP).

“Sa ngayon mayroon tayong 370% congestion rate sa buong Pilipinas. Ito ay mababa na kumpara sa 600% noong 2018,” BJMP spokesperson Jayrex Bustinera said in a public briefing Friday.

[Translation: Right now we have a 370% congestion rate in the entire Philippines. This is down from 600% in 2018.]

BJMP said the nationwide congestion rate climbed to 612% in 2017. In 2022, BJMP reported that out of 447 jail facilities in the country, 336 were at full capacity.

Meanwhile, Bustinera said the agency is currently trying to avoid jail congestion by building additional large jail facilities and helping persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) on their path to freedom by strengthening the implementation of good conduct time allowance (GCTA).

Under Republic Act 10592, GCTA is a sentence reduction provision granted to PDLs for good behavior during detention.

“Kahit nagpapatayo tayo ng piitan ay marami pa ring lumalaya nang sa ganoon ay bumababa ang congestion rate,” the spokesperson added.

[Translation: Even if we are building a prison, many people are still released, thus reducing the congestion rate.]