Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. yesterday said the provincial government will lease out the site of the now defunct Negros Occidental Provincial Jail at Gatuslao Street in Bacolod City soon, while the National Food Authority has agreed to vacate the adjacent area.
Marañon said the owners of 888 Chinatown Square are interested in leasing the about 1.1 hectare jail site, but the provincial government will call on a all interested parties to join a bidding for its lease.
The historical marker at the façade of the old jail will be preserved, the governor assured.
The NFA, on the other hand, has agreed to vacate its current site owned by the provincial government at Gatuslao Street. The NFA will move to Tabunan, Bago, where the provincial government will construct its new building to bring it closer to the rice farmers whom it serves, the governor said.
The Negros Occidental Sanggunian has set the minimum lease price of provincial government prime property at P60 per square meter a month, Board Member Salvador Escalante said.
Meanwhile, Escalante said the Negros Occidental Sanggunian Wednesday approved the request of Marañon to partially reorganize the Office of the Governor, specifically with the impending abolition of the Provincial Jail Management Division (PJMD), with the turnover of the provincial jail management to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.
Inmates of the Negros Occidental Provincial Jail were recently transferred to the Negros Occidental District Jail in Bago City, which is now being managed by the BJMP.
Twenty-eight provincial guards will be augmenting BJMP personnel at the new jail during the two-year transition period.
The governor asked the SP for the immediate abolition of 56 provincial jail positions, including 12 unfilled positions effective August 31, and the total abolition of the PJMD after two years.
He also asked that the 44 displaced provincial jail personnel to be properly compensated with one and half month’s salary for every year of service as separation benefit totaling P24.4 million.
The governor also asked that the same benefit be given to the 28 retained prison guards when they are separated from the service in two years.*CPG