Bureau of Corrections (Philippines)

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Bureau of Corrections
Kawanihan ng mga Bilangguan
Bureau of Corrections (BUCOR).svg
Agency overview
HeadquartersNew Bilibid Prison Reservation, Poblacion, Muntinlupa
Agency executive
Parent agencyDepartment of Justice
New Bilibid Prison; the NBP Reservation houses the BuCor headquarters

The Bureau of Corrections (Filipino: Kawanihan ng mga Bilangguan, literally "Bureau of Prisons", which was the old name of the agency from 1905 to 1989; abbreviated BuCor) is an agency of the Department of Justice which is charged with the custody and rehabilitation of national offenders, who have been sentenced to three years of imprisonment[1] or more. The agency has its headquarters in the New Bilibid Prison Reservation in Muntinlupa.[2]


It is headed by Nicanor Faeldon.[3] The bureau has 2,862 employees, 61% of whom are custodial officers, 33% are administrative personnel and 6% are members of the medical staff.[1]


To maximize the assets' value of the BuCor to effectively pursue its responsibility in safely securing transforming national prisoners through responsive rehabilitation programs managed by professional Correctional Officers.[4]


The Principal task of the Bureau of Corrections is the rehabilitation of National Prisoners.[4]

The Bureau carries out the following task to carry out its mandate:[4]
  • Confine persons convicted by the courts to serve a sentence in national prisons.
  • Keep prisoners from committing crimes while in custody.
  • Provide humane treatment by supplying the inmates' basic needs and implementing a variety of rehabilitation programs designed to change their pattern of criminal or anti-social behavior.
  • Engage in agro-industrial projects for the purpose of developing prison lands and resources into productive bases or profit centers, developing and employing inmate manpower skills and labor, providing prisoners with a source of income and augmenting the Bureau's yearly appropriations.


The Bureau of Corrections currently have 7 operating units located nationwide:[1]

The Rank Of Jail Guards; Effective 2009-2018 =

  • Chief Superintendent (C/Supt)Brigadier General
  • Senior Superintendent (S/Supt)Colonel
  • Superintendent (Supt)Lieutenant Colonel
  • Chief Inspector (C/Insp)Major
  • Senior Inspector (S/Insp)Captain
  • Deputy Senior Inspector (Dep.Sr,Insp)First Lieutenant
  • Inspector (Insp)Second Lieutenant


  • Note;Deputy Senior Inspector (Doctor, Attorney, Technical Field Course, other) - Special Rank for Technical Personnel not Graduates of Mechanical Engineering


  • Note;Deputy Inspector (Engineer,Nurse,ICT,Technical Field Course,Other Course) Special Rank for Technical Personnel not graduates of Mechanical Engineering Programs

= Non Commissioned Officer & Agent Ranks - Effective 2018 -

  • Senior Correction Officer 4 (SCO4) – Sergeant Major
  • Senior Correction Officer 3 (SCO3) – Sergeant First Class
  • Senior Correction Officer 2 (SCO2) – Staff Sergeant
  • Senior Correction Officer 1 (SCO1) – Sergeant
  • Correction Officer 3 (CO3) – Corporal
  • Correction Officer 2 (CO2) – Private First Class
  • Correction Officer 1 (CO1) – Private
  • Correction Officer (CO)Basic Private


Spanish colonial era[edit]

Old Bilibid Prison circa 1900

The Old Bilibid Prison which was located on Oroquieta Street in Manila was established in 1847 and by a Royal Decree formally opened on April 10, 1866. On August 21, 1870 the San Ramon Prison and Penal Farm was established in Zamboanga City for Muslim and political prisoners opposed to the rule of Spain.

American colonial era[edit]

The Iuhit penal Settlement now known as Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm was established in 1904 by the Americans in 28,072 hectares of land. The land areas expanded to 40,000 hectares in the late 1950s.[5] and expanded again to 41,007 hectares by virtue of Executive Order No. 67 issued by Governor Newton Gilbert on October 15, 1912.

The Bureau of Prisons was created under the Reorganization Act of 1905 as an agency under the Department of Commerce and Police. The Reorganization Act also re-established the San Ramon Prison in 1907 which was destroyed during the Spanish–American War in 1898. The prison was placed under the Bureau of Prisons and receive prisoners in Mindanao.[5]

The Correctional Institution for Women was founded on November 27, 1929 by virtue of Act No. 3579 as the first and only prison for women in the Philippines.[5] Later, on January 21, 1932, the bureau opened the Davao Penal Colony in Southern Mindanao.[5]

The New Bilibid Prison was established in 1935 in Muntinlupa due to the increased rate of prisoners.[5]

Contemporary era[edit]

Proclamation No. 72 issued on September 26, 1954, established the Sablayan Prison and Penal Farm in Occidental Mindoro, and the Leyte Regional Prison was established on January 16, 1973, under Proclamation No. 1101.[5]

The Administrative Code of 1987 and Proclamation No. 495, issued on November 22, 1989, changed the agency's name to the current Bureau of Corrections from Bureau of Prisons.[5]


The logo of the bureau represents the government agency's mandate, the rehabilitation of inmate. The logo focuses on the man in prison as the main concern of rehabilitation. It presents man behind bars, but who looks outwards with the hope of rejoining the free community. The rays of the sun and the color green are symbolic of hope. The color orange is symbolic of happiness. The bar of justice represents the justice system. (jrcp)[5]

Capital punishment[edit]

When the Philippines had the death penalty, male inmates condemned to death were held at New Bilibid Prison and female inmates condemned to death were held at Correctional Institution for Women (Mandaluyong).[6] The death chamber for inmates to be electrocuted was in Building 14, within the Maximum Security Compound of New Bilibid. The Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Museum previously served as the lethal injection chamber.[7]


  1. ^ a b c Department of Justice, retrieved 2008-05-27
  2. ^ "About the Bureau of Corrections." Bureau of Corrections. Retrieved on October 2, 2010. "Bureau of Corrections NBP Reservation Muntinlupa City, Philippines."
  3. ^ "Faeldon takes oath as BuCor chief". Manila Bulletin. Retrieved November 21, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c Bureau of Corrections, retrieved 2008-05-27
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Bureau of Corrections, archived from the original on 2008-04-11, retrieved 2008-05-30
  6. ^ Araneta, Sandy (2001-10-22). "1,020 death convicts await execution". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 2017-05-03.
  7. ^ Torres-Tupas, Tetch (2015-07-15). "DOJ drawing list of inmates to occupy death chamber-turned-prison". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 2017-05-04.

External links[edit]