HISTORY AND PROFILE OF BJMP IN CENTRAL VISAYAS

With the enactment of RA 6975 otherwise known as the Department of the Interior and Local Government Act of 1990, BJMP-VII was then organized by some of the members of the defunct PC/INP who chose to be the pioneers of this Regional Jail Bureau in early 1991 with SUPT RAYMUNDO B HERMOSILLA as the first Assistant Regional Director (ARD). The first BJMP Regional Office was co-located at the former PC/INP Regional Office at Camp Sergio Osmeña, now the PRO7 (Police Regional Office 7), after which it was transferred to PY Chua Building, at Junquera Street, Cebu City. As the young bureau was fast growing, a more spacious office was needed so it was later transferred to the 2nd Floor of ESFA Building, R.R. Landon Street, Cebu City from 1994 up to 2000. In the later part of year 2000, during the incumbency of J/SSUPT DIONY D MAMARIL, MPSA as ARD, the regional office was transferred to a rented place at Gate 2, Andres Abellana Street, Cebu City. During the time of J/CSUPT DORIS REMEDIOS-DORIGO, CEO VI as Regional Director, she pushed for the acquisition of lot and construction of a new regional office for BJMP-7. The construction was started during her stint as RD and was finished, inaugurated and occupied during the incumbency of her successor, then Regional Director J/CSUPT NORVEL M MINGOA. BJMPRO-VII as it is now called has its own home at 13B M.Veloso Street, Guadalupe, Cebu City and currently headed by J/CSUPT EFREN A NEMEÑO.

REGION VII is situated at the Central part of the Philippine archipelago between Luzon and Mindanao. It is bounded on the North by the Visayan Sea, on the East by Leyte, on the West by the boundaries in one common island provinces of Region 6, Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental; and on the South by Bohol Sea. The region is composed of four (4) provinces, namely: CEBU, BOHOL, NEGROS ORIENTAL and SIQUIJOR.

BJMPRO-VII is manning a total of 40 jails region-wide, presently manning a total jail population of Twenty Two Thousand Eighty Five (22,085) PDL as of April 12, 2020. BJMPRO-VII has a total strength of 1,147 personnel. Seventy three (73) or 6.36% are Jail Officer Ranks, 1,071 or 93.37% are Jail Non-Officer Ranks and 3 or 0.26% are Non-Uniformed Personnel. These personnel were distributed to different offices in the Regional Office, Provincial and field units, of whom 77 of these personnel are assigned in the Regional and Provincial Offices. In the field unit, 119 personnel are being designated as Admin Officers, 80 Inmates Welfare and Development Officers, 518 are Custodial Officers and 187 are Escort Officers.

 BJMPRO-VII is maintaining a provincial office in each of the  four provinces under its jurisdiction headed by a Provincial Jail Administrator (PJA). In Cebu, the PJA office is inside the BJMPRO-VII at 13B M.Veloso Street, Guadalupe, Cebu City. CEBU is a province rich with historical and religious background sprinkled with rich culture and beautiful people. The province has many industrialized cities and is one of the country’s best tourist destinations. Cebu City is one of the cities found in the island of Cebu a commercial district known to be the ”QUEEN CITY OF THE SOUTH” and a place of the most famous religious relic, the “SEÑOR SANTO NIÑO” or the image of the Holy Child Jesus which according to history was a gift by the group of Magellan to Queen Juana, wife of Raja Humabon of Cebu in 1521 and was miraculously found unscathed in a burnt hut by the group of the Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legaspi some forty-four (44) years later. Cebu’s popular festival – “SINULOG”, is a dance ritual that mimes the motions of the “Sulog or sug” which means water current, in honor of the Sto. Niño. Likewise, the cebuanos are just as proud of “MAGELLAN’S CROSS”, the symbol of Christianity and precursor to nationhood in the Philippines. Oftentimes, prouder still of having given birth to Lapulapu, the first Filipino who resisted and felled foreign invaders who came to our native shores. Moreover, Cebu has much to offer to all visitors – Fort San Pedro, Plaza Independencia, Shangrilla Mactan island Resort, Ayala Center Cebu, D’Family Park in Talamban, Mountain View Park and Doce Pares Zip Line in Busay and many more.

For Bohol, the PJA office is co-located with the Bohol District Jail at Cabawan District, Tagbilaran City, Bohol. BOHOL is the place that is widely known for its Chocolate Hills that can be viewed from Carmen to Sagbayan, Bohol. There are 1,776 hills spread over an area of more than 50 square kilometres (20 sq mi). They are covered in green grass that turns brown during the dry season, hence the name came about. The boholanos customarily used to add the letter “J” when they speak, like instead of “baye” in Cebuano, they add a “J”, “Bajye” and nevertheless, expert in making “Peanut Kisses” for pasalubong. Bohol likewise has rich history and culture. It is a two (2) hour travel from Cebu City by sea.

NEGROS ORIENTAL, a more or less six-hour travel by boat and three (3) hours by sea fast craft which docks at the port of Dumaguete City.  BJMP VII maintained a Jail Provincial administrator’s Office at the Old Provincial Capitol building, Capitol Area, Dumaguete City. – “The City of Gentle People”.  This little city of Oriental Negros became the location of one of the prestigious schools in the Philippines the SILIMAN UNIVERSITY which is  adjacent also on a famous place for relaxation in the city – the BOULEVARD.  Further, Negros Oriental is not behind from others in inherent beautiful places and is part of the so called “Sugar Bowl of the Philippines.

Lastly, SIQUIJOR a small island in the south of Negros island which is culturally noted for witchcraft and voodoo dolls or the so called “BARANG”. But the truth is that the island is a marvelous place with friendly and accommodating people, developed beaches, beautiful scenery and spectacular scuba diving spots for transient tourists. It is an island visible to some parts of the coastal area of Oriental Negros and can be reached by pump boats or sea fast crafts from Cebu via Dumaguete City. In this province, BJMPRO-VII has its provincial Office at Siquijor District Jail.