Latest Stories

Devastated areas hunting ground for traffickers, warns DSWD head

SURVIVORS of Typhoon “Pablo” in New Bataan, Compostela Valley, reach out for relief goods being handed out from a dump truck. FRINSTON LIM / INQUIRER MINDANAO

DAVAO CITY—An alert has been raised for the possible entry of human trafficking syndicates in areas devastated by Typhoon “Pablo” that the head of the social welfare department said are now hunting grounds for traffickers in search of their most vulnerable preys—women and children.

Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman said she sought the help of relief workers in spreading information on human trafficking in areas now suffering from the typhoon’s effects to protect women and children, especially in Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental, the two provinces hardest hit by the storm.

Soliman said the situation was ripe for human traffickers.

“More than the horizontal values, we need to inform them that there is going to be a better way (of surviving),” Soliman said.

Saying her fears are not baseless, Soliman cited cases of women and children who had been trafficked from areas hardest hit by Tropical Storm “Sendong,” which killed nearly 2,000 people in Northern Mindanao last year.

Inorisa Elenito, executive director of the Mindanao Migrants Center based here, said her group had documented three cases of trafficking in Cagayan de Oro shortly after Sendong struck.

One of the victims fell for a nonexistent local job while two were lured to nonexistent jobs abroad, said Elenito.

Cases of trafficking were also monitored in Iligan City, which was also hit hard by Sendong, according to Elenito.

“We do not want this to happen again,” Soliman said. Nongovernment organizations backed Soliman’s campaign.

Patricia Sarenas, former Abanse Pinay representative, said people in communities ravaged by calamities are easy prey for traffickers.

Jeanette Ampog, executive director of Talikala, a group helping prostituted women, said her group has not monitored any case of human trafficking after Typhoon Pablo but agreed that people in devastated communities are vulnerable.

“In disaster areas, people are desperate for food and other basic needs and they can easily fall prey to human traffickers,” Ampog said.

The government and private sector are sending aid to the disaster areas but residents desperate for food have taken matters into their own hands, breaking into food warehouses and taking whatever they could eat.

Several local governments have also come to the aid of the typhoon survivors, like Maguindanao that donated food, clothes and medicines.

Maguindanao was also hit by Typhoon Pablo but its governor, Esmael Mangudadatu, said his province did not suffer as much as Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley.

At least 600 families had been displaced by floods in Maguindanao. “We can’t afford to see our neighbors sick and starving,” said Mangudadatu. Ayan Mellejor, Germelina Lacorte and Charlie Senase, Inquirer Mindanao

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: DSWD , Human trafficking , Pablo , trafficking , Typhoon

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • Lacson says diamond-studded earring snatched from wife fake
  • Pope John XXIII launched Vatican II and then some
  • Militants: Napoles as state witness is ‘clear travesty of justice’
  • US ‘closely watching’ for signs of N.Korea nuclear test
  • Anti-Obama protesters clash with police in Manila
  • Sports

  • Wizards beat Bulls in OT to take 2-0 series lead
  • Pacers rally past Hawks 101-85 to even series
  • David Moyes out as Manchester United manager
  • Nadal to face fellow Spaniard at Barcelona Open
  • Defensive Chelsea holds Atletico in scoreless draw
  • Lifestyle

  • Wanted: Beauty queen with a heart that beats for the environment
  • Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  • Life lessons I want to teach my son
  • Sweet party for Andi Manzano
  • Safety in online buying and selling
  • Entertainment

  • Ex-Fox exec denies allegations in sex abuse suit
  • Kris Aquino backtracks, says Herbert Bautista and her are ‘best friends’
  • Summer preview: Chris Pratt enters a new ‘Galaxy’
  • Bon Jovi helps open low-income housing in US
  • Summer movie preview: Bay reboots ‘Transformers’
  • Business

  • McDonald’s 1Q profit slips as US sales decline
  • SEC approves SM’s P15B retail bond offer
  • $103M Vista Land bonds tendered for redemption
  • Oil slips to $102 as US crude supplies seen rising
  • SC stops Meralco power rate hike anew
  • Technology

  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  • Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  • Brazil passes trailblazing Internet privacy law
  • New York police Twitter campaign backfires badly
  • Opinion

  • One-dimensional diplomacy: A cost-benefit analysis of Manila’s security deal with Washington
  • No ordinary illness
  • Reforest mountains with fire trees and their kind
  • Day of the Earth
  • When will Chinese firm deliver new coaches?
  • Global Nation

  • Filipina, 51, shot dead by 24-year-old American boyfriend
  • China, rivals sign pact to ease maritime tensions
  • Visa-free US trip? Do not believe it, says consulate
  • Obama visit to Asia seen as counterweight to China
  • Violence mars militant protest at US Embassy
  • Marketplace