Anti-trafficking body urges LGUs to create councils

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Sunday, March 9, 2014

THE Inter-Agency Council against Trafficking (IACAT) urged local government units (LGUs) to create councils against human trafficking.

It also urged LGUs to pass ordinance to localize the implementation of anti-human trafficking laws.

“This initiative intends to extend the government’s fight against all forms of slavery, forced labor and sexual exploitation to the community level,” said IACAT chair and Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Leila De Lima.


The ordinance must be based on Republic Act (RA) 9208, as amended by RA 10364, or the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, said De Lima in DOJ website.

In Cebu, the Cordova Municipal Government involved the community and the church to fight child pornography, which is a violation under RA 9208.

Cordova Mayor Adelino Sitoy said their anti-cyberporn program involved giving livelihood to families and holding regular meetings with the youth and women sectors. 

Money transfer

Part of the town’s program is a new ordinance requiring stricter monitoring of money transfer firms that handle remittances to cyberporn operators from Internet clients. 

Sitoy said they have the Save the Children Movement, which promotes moral recovery and educates the community about the laws against child pornography and trafficking in persons.

From 2011 to 2013, authorities rescued more than 20 minors and arrested more than 10 adults, most of them parents who were operating cybersex dens in Cordova. 

De Lima said creating local legislation empowers LGUs to attend to the problem of human trafficking, from the provincial level down to the barangays.

The local council’s main function is to “formulate a comprehensive and integrated program for the prevention and suppression of trafficking in persons, successful prosecution of offenders, the rescue, rehabilitation and reintegration of trafficked victims, abused women and children into the mainstream of society,” DOJ website reported.

It will also serve as the LGUs’ primary unit that will handle problems concerning human trafficking and other related violations.

“The government’s resolve is tested again and again by the evils of human trafficking. The National Government and the LGUs, acting as a community, may yet be the deterrent for these social ills to prosper,” said de Lima. (KAL)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 10, 2014.

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