NEW BILIBID PRISON (NBP): The projected increase in the prison population prompted the government to plan and develop a new site for the national penitentiary. The growing urbanization of Manila and constant lobbying by conservative groups fueled the idea of transferring the Old Bilibid Prison to a new site, which at the time was considered remote and on the outskirts of the urban center. Accordingly, Commonwealth Act No. 67 was enacted, appropriating one million pesos for the construction of a new national prison in Muntinlupa. On November 15, 1940, all inmates of the Old Bilibid Prison in Manila were transferred to the new site. The new institution had a capacity of 3,000 prisoners and it was officially named the New Bilibid Prison on January 22, 1941. The prison reservation had an area of 587 hectares, part of which was arable. The prison compound proper had an area of 300 x 300 meters or a total of nine hectares. It was surrounded by three layers of barbed wire.
The institution became the maximum security compound in the ‘70s and continues to be so. The camp houses not only death convicts and inmates sentenced to life term, but also those with numerous pending cases, multiple convictions, and sentences of more than 20 years.
After World War II, there was a surfeit of steel matting in the inventory and it was used to improve the security fence. In the late ‘60s, fences werefurther reinforced with concrete slabs. In the 1980s, the height of the concrete wall was increased and another facility was constructed, 2.5 kilometers from the main building. This became known as Camp Sampaguita or the Medium Security Camp.
On January 22, 1941 the electric chair was transferred to New Bilibid Prison. The death chamber was constructed in the rear area of the camp when the mode of execution was through electrocution. Today, it is a security zone where those convicted of drug offenses are held.
The NBP expanded with the construction of new security facilities. These were the Medium Security Camp, which was used as a military stockade during martial law and the Minimum Security Camp, whose first site was christened Bukang Liwayway. This was transferred to another site within the reservation where the former depot was situated.
The increase in the prison population has affected the segregation system. Several foreign funded projects dot the prison reservation, among them, the Half Way House and the Juvenile Training Center. Both projects are supported by funds from Japan through the representation of the Interdisciplinary Committee of NAPOLCOM.