The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), other government agencies and selected Local Government Units of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) has collaborated to intensify efforts against human trafficking.
In a five-day training organized by the DSWD- CAR, representatives from various offices were capacitated on the laws, systems, and procedures concerning trafficking in persons.
DSWD Social Worker Judith Y. Bacwaden said that this activity is set to further improve the response of the government in addressing the said problem.
In the Region, there are around 47 alleged cases of trafficking in persons recorded from 2009-2013. This number is gathered from reports of various agencies in the region. The data also shows that the youngest victims to be identified were aged 13 years at the time that the alleged trafficking incident has happened. Prostitution and forced labor are the most common purpose of the acts.
Republic Act 9208 Series of 2013 also known as Anti-trafficking in Persons Act of 2003 and amended by RA10364 known as the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012 refers to trafficking in persons as the recruitment, obtaining, hiring, providing, offering, transportation, transfer, maintaining, harboring or receipt of persons with or without the victims consent or knowledge.
These acts which are done within or across national borders by means of threat, use of force or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or position, taking advantage of the vulnerability of the person, giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over the victim for the purpose of exploitation or prostitution or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery, servitude or the removal or sale of organs can be the basis of qualifying such as an act of trafficking in persons.
Any person who is proven to have violated RA 9208 will be penalized by imprisonment and a fine determined by the court and the victims will be provided the mandated services.
The DSWD has also developed the Recovery and Re-integration Program for Trafficked Persons (RRPTP) to cater to the victims of human trafficking. In 2009, RRPTP has been pilot tested in some municipalities in the Region. This year, the program is pushed to be implemented region wide and replicated in the provincial and municipal level through the local social welfare and development offices.
Individuals who have knowledge or learn of conditions that maybe considered as trafficking in persons are encouraged to report immediately to the nearest law enforcement agency, barangay authorities or the local social welfare and development office or call the Philippine National Police- CAR at (074) 442-1612 or 300-9401 or the DSWD-CAR RRPTP hotline at +09214247944 or (074) 444- 3209. DSWD-CAR, SOCIAL MARKETING UNIT, NFGV