Senate OK's expanded anti-human trafficking act on final reading

The Philippines is expected to achieve significant progress in its fight against human trafficking, as Senate approves Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act on third and final reading.

At the same time, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile urged President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III to immediately enact the bill, which is seen to strengthen existing laws against human trafficking.

"I urge President Aquino to fast-track the enactment of this measure into law for the sake of many of our people who are caught in the web of human trafficking. We must remain committed in eradicating this problem," Enrile said.

"(This will) not just to protect our women and children from predators, but also our overseas-Filipino-workers who suffer the most from human traffickers hiding in the guise of recruitment agencies,"  he added.

The senate president lauded the unanimous passage of Senate Bill No. 2625, which was co-sponsored by Senators Pia Cayetano, Loren Legarda, Franklin Drilon and Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.

The amendatory law included the attempt to traffic a person as a crime whether by recruiting, transporting, selling, buying, and forcing women and children to engage in degrading activities such as prostitution.

As Senate Committee on Youth, Women, and Family Relations chairperson, Cayetano explained the law shall also impose penalties on those who will adopt women for forced labor or using children in armed conflicts.

"Anyone found to violate the provisions of this measure will be punished with 15 years imprisonment and a fine ranging from P500,000 to P1,000,000," Cayetano emphasized.

The Senate Bill No. 2625 shall also disclose the identity of persons accused of human trafficking so as to to warn the public and prevent would be victims to fall into such traps.

Earlier, the U.S. Department of State identified the Philippines as one of the countries that have had little progress in its fight to stop human trafficking.

In 2011, the country was delisted from the US State Department's watch list in its "Trafficking in Persons Report."

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.

  • Island Hopping in Honda Bay Gael Hilotin - Pinay Solo Backpacker
    Island Hopping in Honda Bay

    Puerto Princesa has long been a magnet of sun-worshippers and pleasure seekers. Gratefully, despite the crowd it brings, it has managed to preserve its splendor over the years. Resting on the eastern coast of the green city is Honday Bay, … Continue reading → …

  • Rising number of trafficked fishermen alarms Tawi-Tawi authorities VERA Files - The Inbox
    Rising number of trafficked fishermen alarms Tawi-Tawi authorities

    By Jake Soriano, VERA Files Bongao, Tawi-Tawi—Tawi-Tawi authorities are alarmed at the growing number of fishermen from the Visayas who end up here after being recruited by human trafficking syndicates to engage in dangerous compressor diving. The latest case involves … Continue reading → …

  • The return of Gigi Reyes Ellen Tordesillas, Contributor - The Inbox
    The return of Gigi Reyes

    By Ellen T.Tordesillas This is going to be fascinating. Atty. Gigi Reyes, former chief of staff of Sen. Juan Ponce-Enrile who is included among those accused of plunder in connection with the misuse of Priority Development Assistance Fund, came back … Continue reading → …

Poll Choice Options