The Inbox

More funds needed in fight vs human traffickers

Relatives of victims of human trafficking from MigranteB

By Ellen Tordesillas

Okay, the Philippines has evaded going back on the Watch List of the United States Department of State's monitoring of Trafficking of Persons.

Considering that the government has intensified export of Filipino workers overseas because it cannot provide jobs for them, continuing to avoid going back in the Watch List is a consolation, however small because the ideal situation is that there should be jobs available for Filipinos in the country so that the father or mother, son or daughter does not need to be far away from his or her family in a strange environment just to earn a living.

In 2010, the Philippines was on Tier2 Watch List, countries which have the most number of human trafficking victims and with less government effort to stop all forms of human trafficking.

In 2011, the Philippines was removed from the Watch List and has maintained it this year.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima takes the attitude of seeing the glass half-full:"Tier 2 is an important recognition of the country's sustained and aggressive initiatives and programs to eliminate human trafficking. The Tier 2 status officially recognizes a country's significant efforts to adhere to the benchmarks prescribed by the US State Department and meet the minimum standards."

Sure, the State Department report took note that the Philippine government "demonstrated increased efforts to prevent human trafficking ."

The report noted that although the government does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, "it is making significant efforts to do so."

The report cited the increased funding of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) from the equivalent of $230,000 in 2010 to the equivalent of $1.5 million in 2011."

The top recommendations of the Global Trafficking in Persons Report for the Philippines are to sustain the intensified efforts to investigate, prosecute and convict an increased number of both labor and sex traficking offenders both locally & overseas and increased the funding for anti-trafficking programs.

That is a big problem for IACAT now  because as noted in the report, through intense lobbying by   Justice Undersecretary Jovy Salazar, who is in-charge of IACAT, budget was increased from P25 million in 2011 to P50 million in 2012.

For the 2013 budget, IACAT is asking for P100 million. Feedback from the Department of Budget is that  IACAT will only be given P40 million.

It doesn't make sense.

Other recommendations of the GTIP report are for the Philippines to   address the significant backlog of trafficking cases by developing mechanisms to track  and monitor the status of cases filed with the DOJ and the trial courts and to conduct immediate and  rigorous investigation of complaints implicating government officials and  ensure accountability for leaders that fail to address trafficking-related corruption within their areas of jurisdiction.

The report also said there is a need to strengthen  anti-trafficking training and capacity building programs for law enforcers and expand  the use of victim processing centers to additional areas in the Phils and allow for victims to be processed and assisted in safe environment after a rescue operation.

The report also saw the need to increase mechanisms and resources to assist trafficking victims.

For a more successful persecution of traffickers, the GTIP recommended increase in funding for DOJ programs for the protection of witnesses and entry of trafficking victims into the Witness Protection Program.

We are talking here of people whose remittances keep the whole Philippine economy going. They are hailed as the "modern-day heroes." The  government can give substance to that platitude by increasing funding for their protection.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Phl, Japan sign P9.6-B ODA projects
    Phl, Japan sign P9.6-B ODA projects

    The Philippines and Japan have signed agreements for six official development assistance (ODA) projects amounting to 22.289 billion yen or around P9.6 billion. …

  • Commission to launch glossary of Pinoy meteorological terms
    Commission to launch glossary of Pinoy meteorological terms

    The Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) will release a glossary of meteorological terms in Filipino to help the Filipino people better understand weather forecasts and instill disaster awareness among them. National Artist for Literature and KWF president Virgilio Almario said yesterday the KWF produced the glossary titled Patnubay sa Weder Forkast to simplify scientific terms used in the weather bulletins of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration …

  • Divorce bill good scapegoat for couples – CBCP
    Divorce bill good scapegoat for couples – CBCP

    Contrary to what romance novel writers would want their readers to believe, there are no perfect marriages in the real world. This was according to Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas. In a statement titled “CBCP Position Against the Divorce Bill and Against the Decriminalization of Adultery and Concubinage,” Villegas said that while it is not easy to make relationships last, learning how to work out differences – and …

  • DND holds off infra dev’t in Pag-Asa
    DND holds off infra dev’t in Pag-Asa

    The defense department is holding off repairs and other planned infrastructure projects on Pag-Asa Island, one of seven islets and two reefs occupied by Filipino troops in the disputed Spratly Islands. Earlier, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario pointed out that the maintenance and repair of facilities in Pag-Asa Island are not covered by the Declaration of Conduct (DOC) of parties involved in the West Philippine Sea territorial disputes. “Repair and maintenance is okay but before …

  • Blackout to hit 5 Aurora towns
    Blackout to hit 5 Aurora towns

    An 11-hour power outage will hit five towns in Aurora on Tuesday, the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) announced yesterday. The NGCP said Baler, Dingalan, San Luis, Ma. Aurora and Dipaculao would be affected by the blackout. The NGCP said parts of Nueva Ecija and Aurora were hit by a power interruption yesterday due to the tripping of the Cabanatuan-Baler 69kV line. …

  • Rules set for climate change programs
    Rules set for climate change programs

    The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the Climate Change Commission (CCC) have released the revised guidelines to track and monitor climate change adaptation programs of the government. “The government of the Philippines has demonstrated leadership and strong commitment in implementing a comprehensive reform agenda to respond to climate change,” read the joint memorandum circular published in The STAR yesterday. “With the goal of using the budget process to plan, prioritize and …

  • It’s time to move on– Speaker
    It’s time to move on– Speaker

    The nation can now move on as President Aquino has satisfactorily explained his side on the Mamasapano incident for which he even begged for understanding, lawmakers led by Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said yesterday. “It’s time to move on,” Belmonte said in reaction to Aquino’s pronouncements made before new police graduates at the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) last Thursday. The President has spoken far too much about what he knows and about his limited involvement in the …

  • ToyotaPH continues it’s strong sales in February
    ToyotaPH continues it’s strong sales in February

    Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) sustains its strong sales in its February performance. Toyota’s strong performance last month was due to the  high demand of the Vios, with sales of 2,012 units and of course the rest of Toyota’s line up such as the Fortuner, Innova, Wigo, Hilux, Avanza and Corolla Altis. Toyota’s luxury brand, Lexus, recorded 60 units last month. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options