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Date Filed: 06 March 2018

a.     1987 Philippine Constitution;
b.     Rule  64.  United  Nations  Standard  Minimum  Rules  for  the  Treatment  of Prisoners (the Mandela Rules);
c.     BJMP Comprehensive Operations Manual Revised 2015;
d.     Policy on Allowable Personal Property of Inmates;
e.     Policy on Disposition, Nuisance and Contraband;
f.     Proper Handing, Custody and Disposition of Seized Nuisance Contrabands; and
g.     Revised  List  of  Authorized  Personal  Properties  for  Persons  Deprived  of

The State recognizes the vital role of knowledge and information in nation- building and promotes the intellectual well-being of the people While persons deprived  of liberty  (PDL) are segregated  from the free society,  they share the same responsibility in building our nation especially so when they return to the mainstream of society. It is important to allow them to further educate and enrich themselves through reading books, magazines and other information, education, and communication  (IEC) materials. Furthermore,  it is a mandate under international law that every prison shall have a library for the use of all categories of prisoners, adequately  stocked with both recreational  and instructional  books, and prisoners shall be encouraged to make full use of it.

However,  this effort in developing  PDL also has its downfall. To mention a few,  reading  materials  brought  in jails  accumulate  in massive  volume  thereby occupying a great space/area; sheets of paper can be used as cigarette/cigar roll or can be converted  into solid materials  which can be used in making “kubol”; and stocks of paper can be an additional fire hazard to the jail. Furthermore, unnecessary   items   stored   inside   cells   hamper   the   searching   process   or Operation  Greyhound.  Lastly  unregulated  use of printed  materials  by the PDL can  distort  the  supposed  developmental/therapeutic  goals  of  the  activities  of reading and viewing. Hence, this Memorandum Circular is formulated to regulate, monitor  and supervise  the entry, use, and disposal  of the reading  materials  of PDL in order to preempt their improper and illegal use and other unnecessary consequences to jail safety and security.

a.     To control the entry of reading materials in jails.
b.     To regulate the use of reading materials by PDL.
c.     To  monitor   and  supervise   the  use,  storage,   and  disposal   of  reading materials.
d.    To provide sanctions for violation hereof.

This memorandum circular shall be observed in all BJMP-manned jails nationwide.

a.     Reading  Material  (RM)  -  refers  to  bibles,  books,  prayer  booklets  comic books, coloring books, puzzle and game booklets, newspapers, magazines journals,  pamphlets,  posters, flyers, calendars  and other information, education and communication (IEC) materials for reading and viewing.
b.     Unauthorized Reading Material (URM) - any printed material for reading or viewing which contains obscene or pornographic images, subversive articles/discussions,  and map of the immediate  and surrounding  vicinity  of the jail including any road map or route map. Any RM containing codes or unconventional writings shall be considered as URM.
c.     Record  of Reading  Materials  (RRM)  - refers  to the  official  record  of all reading materials that are being used by PDL in jails.
d.     Censorship  - the  suppression  or  prohibition  of any  parts  of books,  films news, etc. that are considered obscene, politically unacceptable,  or a threat to security.

Each jail shall regulate the entry of reading materials in jails and monitor/ supervise PDL in using the same taking into consideration the security and safety implications that may arise from such undertaking.

1.     There should be maintained a Record of Reading Materials (RRM) in which all authorized  reading materials  are recorded,  numbered  and named. They shall be categorized and tagged as follows:

Category A – “For personal use”;
Category B – “For common use”;
Category C – “RMs relating to religion”;
Category D – “For learning/education”;
Category E – “Informative materials” such as newspapers or magazines

For categories A and C: e.g “RM No. QCJ-A-1234 name of PDL”. For categories B, D and E: e.g “RM No. QCJ-B-1234”

2.     All RMs brought inside jails are to be inspected first by the duty searcher who shall check or browse them for censorship  purposes and will be brought to the IWD Section. If the same are considered unauthorized reading materials, they shall be confiscated or returned to the person/s who brought or donated them.

3.     The recording, tagging and categorizing  of authorized reading materials will be made by the IWD Unit.

4.     All RMs donated by service providers shall not be directly given to the PDL.
Such  RMs  shall  undergo  the process  provided  in the three  (3) preceding numbers.

5.     RMs  for  common  use  borrowed  by  PDL  shall  be  recorded.  Informative, educational, and pocket books are to be returned within three (3) days while newspapers, magazines, pamphlets, journals, flyers are to be returned after one (1) day. RMs borrowed are to be returned to the IWD Section after use or after the lapse of time mentioned.

6.     There shall be a logbook under the control of the IWD personnel in which all borrowers of RM are recorded to include the date and time the RM was borrowed,   description/title   of  RM,  and  the  name  and  signature   of  the borrower when returned.

7.     A PDL shall be allowed to have his/her personal RMs, however they must be registered  and they can only be allowed to be brought in the cell one at a time  with  allotted  number  of  days  per  RM.  After  which  and  after  all  the personal RMs were read, they must be brought out from jail. Personal RM must be limited.

8.     The act of tearing  or removing  any sheet of paper or page of any RM or totally destroying RMs is strictly prohibited. All RMs must be inspected before and upon returning by borrowers to detect if there are missing or torn sheets/pages. If there are missing pages, the owner/last borrower shall be presumed to be the one who took or tore the missing or destroyed page/s. Such  PDL  shall  be  subjected  to  proper  proceedings  by  the  Disciplinary Board of the jail/unit.

9.     Each PDL is allowed to keep one bible for dally reading/use which must be
assigned with a serial/reading  material number and shall bear the name of the PDL.
10. PDL enrolled under the Alternative Learning System (ALS) of the Technical Education  and Skills Development  Authority  (TESDA)  are allowed  to keep books or ALS modules used in their schooling or tutorial sessions. Keeping and borrowing  of such printed materials related to ALS skills trainings, and PDL trainings/seminar shall be monitored by the IWD Personnel in-charge.

11. All unauthorized  reading materials confiscated  from the possession  of PDL must be turned-over to the contraband custodian of the jail facility for proper disposal. PDL having possession of unauthorized and unregistered RM is subject to proper disciplinary action.

12. All excess  RMs  except  bibles  and  prayer  books,  shall  be returned  to the relatives of the PDL which own them or surrendered to the IWD Section for safekeeping   until  returned   to  PDL’s  relative.   Unclaimed   RMs  shall  be subjected for proper disposal or recycling for livelihood projects after one (1) month from the time they were returned to the IWD section.

13. Aiding or abetting  the entry of URM and allowing  PDL to use the same is strictly prohibited.

14. PDL to be released or transferred must either surrender or bring along with
him/her RMs in his/her possession depending on its category. In no instance a PDL to be released or transferred will leave behind a RM to a fellow PDL.

The Warden, through his Chief, Custodial Unit and Chief, IWD Section shall be in charge of the monitoring and supervision of the use of RMs.

The Jail Warden shall be responsible  in educating  the jail personnel,  PDL, and visitors of this new policy thru PI & E for personnel orientation for inmates, and posting of the corresponding announcement in conspicuous areas within the jail facility for the consumption of the visitors and service providers.

The Chief, Custodial  Unit shall be in charge of monitoring  and supervising the implementation of safety, security, and disposition provisions of the policy.

The Chief, IWD Section shall assist in the implementation of this policy by assisting  in  the  proper  categorization  of  RMs,  coordinating  with  the  service providers   donating   RMs  regulation   of  RMs  for  common   use,  ALS-related trainings, RMs used in skills trainings and other PDL trainings and seminars.


The strict observance of this policy is hereby enjoined and non-compliance herewith shall be dealt with accordingly


In the event that any provision or part of this policy is declared invalid by competent authority, all other provisions not affected by such declaration shall remain valid and effective.


All other existing issuances that are inconsistent with this policy are hereby amended or modified accordingly.


This Circular shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its filing at the University of the Philippines Law Center in consonance  with Sections 3 and 4, Chapter 2. Book   VII   of   Executive   Order   No.   292,   otherwise   known   as   the   “The Administrative Code of 1987.”


Jail Director
Chief, BJMP
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