Provincial Government of Bulacan

Importance of GCTA discussed in Bulacan

CITY OF MALOLOS – Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado led the discussion among police officers, lawyers and judges on giving the appropriate Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) at ‘Persons Deprived of Liberty’ or prisoners in the forum entitled “Brief Overview on the Implementation of GCTA at Various Detention Facilities in Bulacan” held in Balagtas Hall, Hiyas ng Bulacan Convention Center in this city recently.

“In general, ang layunin po kung bakit mayroon tayong kulungan ay hindi para parusahan laamng ang mga lumalabag sa batas kundi pang reporma natin para sila’y mabalik sa ating komunidad pagdating ng araw,” Alvarado said.

Atty. Ralph Lumandan, Chief-Legal of Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Regional Office III, explained the process to attain the GCTA that includes automatic screening and evaluation; deliberation of MSEC; resolution/recommendation of MSEC and the approval or disapproval of the warden.

He said, prisoners can have a 20-day reduction on his sentence for every month of exhibiting good manners, served as a good example, and passed the required process as a time allowance while prisoners with violations will not be granted with GCTA.

Atty. Lumandan also mentioned other ways of diminishing the prisoners’ sentence including the time allowance for study, teaching and mentoring or if he uses his learning to teach others and the special time allowance for loyalty wherein 1/5 of the sentence is subtracted to the entire sentence if he will surrender within 48 hours or 2/5 if he will not leave the premises during calamities.

Officer Carlos Rimas, paralegal of Bataan District Jail, explained the right calculation to get the GCTA in determining the Expected Date of Release (EDR) of a prisoner through adding the Date of Detention (DD), the Imposable penalty (Pmax) and the Time Gap (Tgap) and subtracting the Time Allowance (TA) from its sum.

Based on the records shown by PSSupt. Fernando S. Villanueva, there are currently 4,222 detainees in the Bulacan Provincial Jail (BPJ) even though its capacity is limited to 700 detainees only causing a 603.14% congestion rate.

“Kaya naman nagkaroon tayo ng modernisasyon gaya ng pagkakabit ng 16 CCTV cameras, signal jammer upang maharang ang mga signal ng mga iligal na gumagamit ng cellular phone at paging system para maikalat ng maayos ang impormasyon sa mga bumibisista. Nagkaroon din ng karagdagang wooden stage at pagpapalawak ng confinement area as mga kababaihang bilanggo.”Villanueva added.

The GCTA is being implemented in BPJ since December 16, 2016 under the New Manual on Time Allowances.