Expanded antihuman trafficking law pushed


Sen. Loren Legarda has called on President Benigno Aquino III to sign immediately the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act amid reports of human traffickers preying on women and children in the typhoon-stricken areas of Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental.

Legarda, chair of the Senate subcommittee looking into human trafficking, expressed “extreme alarm” over reports of human traffickers in Mindanao’s devastated communities in the aftermath of Typhoon “Pablo.”

“We have seen the need to strengthen the existing law, and we have acted swiftly on it. But human trafficking, and the related problems of the illegal sex trade, forced labor and other forms of slavery, is a complex web. Battling it requires concerted effort from all sectors of society,” she said in a statement issued on Friday.

“Remember that traffickers target the most vulnerable sectors of society and this is the injustice that we must act against. Those responsible must be caught and subjected to our criminal laws. Furthermore, we also look forward to the immediate enactment of the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act.”

The bill passed by Congress is a strengthened version of the Anti-Trafficking Law. It covers attempted trafficking and has accessory or accomplice liability, thereby covering more related acts and individuals. It is awaiting signature by the President.

Republic Act No. 9208, or the Anti-Trafficking of Persons Act of 2003, penalizes human trafficking crimes with prison terms ranging from six years to 20 years and fines from P500,000 to P2 million.

Trafficking in persons include recruitment in the guise of domestic or overseas employment for sexual exploitation, forced labor or involuntary debt bondage, recruiting any Filipino woman to marry a foreigner, sex tourism, recruitment for organ removal and recruitment of a child to engage in armed activities abroad.

The law also provides a list of acts that promote trafficking such as assisting in the exit of trafficked persons.

Both houses of Congress in December ratified the bicameral conference committee report on the Expanded Anti-Trafficking Act.


The amendments increased the list of punishable acts that promote trafficking, “to include an act to destroy or tamper with evidence, to influence witnesses in an investigation, or to utilize one’s public office to impede an investigation or to obstruct the execution of lawful orders.”

“Enactment into law of the Expanded Anti-Trafficking Act will fill the voids in the existing law,” Legarda said following the Senate’s ratification of a bicameral report early this month.

She said the enactment of the measure would ensure added protection not just for trafficked victims, but also, to a reasonable extent, law enforcement officers and social workers “from harassment suits for lawful acts done in good faith during authorized rescue operations, investigation or prosecution of a case.”

Legarda also said “disasters are linked inextricably to poverty and socioeconomic inequality.”

“It is important to realize that the changing climate will have its worst effects on the poorest of the poor, and nowhere is this clearer than in these reports of human traffickers prowling Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental,” said Legarda, who also is chair of the Senate committee on climate change.

High-risk victims

“Men, women and children from marginalized and devastated communities are at high risk, and we must do everything in our power to stop these illegal operations once and for all,” she added.

Legarda said the problem of human trafficking would only become more pronounced as Filipinos are left vulnerable as a result of disasters.

“We are now seeing the intersecting forces of natural hazards and human greed, and how they threaten those who are already marginalized. This is an issue of utmost importance,” she said.

Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman earlier sought the help of relief workers in spreading information on human trafficking. She said the situation in areas devastated by Typhoon “Pablo” on Dec. 4 made women and children easy prey.

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

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  • kilabot

    perverts prowling around areas devastated by a perverted nature. 

    • Loggnat

      It will be a justifiable homicide if these perverts are caught by the people and given instant justice, in my opinion. The people can use Post Traumatic Stress as justification if they are ever brought to court. After devastated by the typhoon anybody who is stoopid enough to agitate the victims deserves whatever happens to them. I remember after hurricane Andrews, I and my neighbors are ready to shoot any looters caught in our neighborhood.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/X6WMK4DRCTB7C35DZRT6TLFPIA Jaimie

    Let’s be vigilant po sana.. Sa ganitong mga occassion, madami na naman ang masasamang loob na gustong magtake advantage. I agree with senator Legarda.Important itong issue na ito at dapat seryosohin..

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/HQD3I42NN5GHFYN25Q7YYVD6Q4 Paul

      thats right! di ko lang maintindihan kung bakit may mga taong wala konsensiya at gumagawa ng ganito.

  • entong238


  • miiimiiiiiing

    “It is important to realize that the changing climate will have its worst effects on the poorest of the poor, and nowhere is this clearer than in these reports of human traffickers prowling Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental,”
    …..Bantayan nalang natin ang isa’t isa at magreport agad if nasususpect tayo ng sumthing….Kaya natin yan…..Miiimmmiing!

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/HQD3I42NN5GHFYN25Q7YYVD6Q4 Paul

      maganda solution dito ay mabigyan ng awareness ang mga tao. kung aware sila dun sila maguumpisang maging alert

  • darnah

    Sana nga iimprove pa nila yung bill against human trafficking. Pasalamatan nalang natin ang senators lalo na kay sen. Legarda sa pagstrengthen sa anti human traficking law.

    • timberlakers

      I think Senator Loren Legarda is on it. She already made revisions of the law and is just waiting for our president’s signature/approval.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/HQD3I42NN5GHFYN25Q7YYVD6Q4 Paul

    alert lang tayo mga kaibigan! wag natin papabayaan anng isat isa. pasko pa naman at nakakalungkot sa pamilya nila kung may mga mabiktima neto 

  • timberlakers

    Hope our LGU’s take this issue seriously. You dont hear a lot of cases of Human trafficking but it’s actually there. Let’s not wait for those crooks to take advantage of us.

  • m1ghtym0use


  • http://profile.yahoo.com/UVZ355TSZQ3FNBW6SEWRPYV4YA Manny

    Tumpak si Senator. . . Sana sumunod tau sa kanya. . . 

  • Ross18

    Agree to Sen Legarda.

  • boybakal

    Human Traffickers in typhoon savaged area….Exaggerated Alarmist.

  • Ommm

    ” The bill is one of those waiting for Aquino’s signature after being passed by Congress.”

    So is his pen out of ink?…how long does it take to sign your name?…

  • $37644997

    Keep the AFP and local police busy as a gift to all victims in the region.

  • boybakal

    Asikasuhin muna ang mga patay, homeless, daan, pananim,daan, tulay, ilaw koryente etc etc.
    Pag ayos na ang daan, tulay at tuloy tuloy ang traffic, madali ng makita ang Human Traffic kung meron man o isip lang.

    Unahin muna ang Traffic sa EDSA, million million ang apektado bago yan Human Traffic.

    • ed_nique

      spoken like a typical manileno who thinks that metro manila is the philippines!

      go around the bars there and ask the girls where they are from. go to the streets at night and ask those streetwalkers, females and males, where they are from. ask househelps in manila how much they are paid. you even need a law before you think of giving them decent wages.

      human traficking is not an IMAGINED PROBLEM it is a REAL PROBLEM! it is a global problem. it is not only perpetrated against our countrymen, other countries have this problem.

      if your problem is only about your EDSA traffice, be thankful. there are a lot of things worse than that.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/U2VPSRNUA6MZGXS7FX6W5ZRCBI Antonio

     Oh now Loren came out from her bunker… I guess it’s ELECTION TIME!

  • Your_King

    Aquino does nothing immediate and prompt. Everything is dragged on at a slow snail pace to the point where Aquino ends up ignoring issue that the country is dealing with. And then when it finally boils over and gets bad he goes and tries to do a quick fix then when asked why he didn’t do anything sooner to prevent certain issues and problems, he goes out and makes excuses and points the finger at others.

  • Chloroform

    Expanded Anti-Trafficking Act has good intentions but it would be better still to revisit the laws and rules that prevent law enforcers to do their jobs effectively.,, 

    • miiimiiiiiing

      …..totoo yan…dapat implement nilang mabuti para maging effective kung hindi, wala din…miiiimmmiiinng!

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/Q7JP2FKXAML5HAWHDX4MWL2OZI Jeremy

        Sana kasi magseryoso na mga LGUs natin para siguraduhing patakbuhin ang mga batas natin. Mahirap maabot yung national scale kung yung mga locals palang di na sumusunod.

  • gregory robinson

    Stop these worthless laws. Though for a god cause, there are already laws against human trafficking. Just push law enforcement off their butts, and start patrolling areas more and enforce the existing laws. This is just politicians trying to look like they are doing something.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/UVZ355TSZQ3FNBW6SEWRPYV4YA Manny

      I dont think worthless eto men. May mga kakilalla akong nabiktima nito at grabe yung pinagdaanan niya. Okay na din eto kesa maranasan pa ng mas maraming pinoy to. 

  • wehd1nga

    kahit araw-araw ka sa media kahit araw-araw ka gumawa ng walang ka kwenta-kwenta batas kahit mag tumbling ka sa EDSA, hindi kita iboboto EPAL KA!!!

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/UVZ355TSZQ3FNBW6SEWRPYV4YA Manny

      tsong, di biro ang human trafficking. Gusto paba natin dumami ang kaso nito bago natin tutukan to? Dapat matuwa tayo na naguumpisa na anng gobyerno natin na labanan to bago maging laganap. 

  • siegfeil

    Parusahan lang ang guilty sa ganitong human trafficking. Ang problema ang mga tao nang huwes at makapangyarihang police nalalagyan… hanggang ngayon.  Ang sama pa rito yung lihitimong mga nag a adopt nang bata ang napapahirapan sa katakottakot na permit bago maka alis nang bansa natin. samantalang yung mga illegal doon kadami sa backdoor sa mindanao nang human at sari saring trafiking at smuggling. 

  • joerizal

    It’s a good cause, pero has there been anyone convicted under the existing law? Strengthening an existing one means it has been test driven, convictions and acquittals have occurred and there is enough evidence to support an amendment. The reasons given behind this strengthening is more of a knee jerk reaction to current situations rather than lessons learned overtime. Once again, these senators are treating the symptoms and not the cause.

  • $14141131

    The only solution to crimes like human smuggling, kidnapping, carnapping and murder is the solution to the poor economy and enforcement of laws. These are what’s lacking in the country. Studies done in the many countries reveal that the economy has a big influence in crime prevention.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/Q7JP2FKXAML5HAWHDX4MWL2OZI Jeremy

      Thats true but for now, we have to utilize whatever we have. Besides, kung gusto madaming paraan.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/UVZ355TSZQ3FNBW6SEWRPYV4YA Manny

    Actually, madami na akong narinig na nabiktima ng human trafficking. Natutuwa ako actually sa effort ng senadora dito. It’s not worthless as some people say here. Dude….Buhay ng mga kababayan natin nakataya dito.

  • miiimiiiiiing

    ….Dapat talaga maging aware tayo na may human trafficking dito sa atin….suportahan nalang natin ang govt natin dito at ikalat natin sa ibang tao para malaman nila….miiiimmiiiing..

    • sigelangbro

      You have a point! Kung maipaalam natin sa mga tao eto saka lang sila mag start maging alert.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/Q7JP2FKXAML5HAWHDX4MWL2OZI Jeremy

    Ingat tayo in times like these bec eto yung time na nag strike yung ga heartless criminals naten. Na sppreciate ko yung effort ni Senator Loren at ang kelangan lag talaga i implement ng mabuti para maging effective.


    ayos itong batas na ito, proteksyon ito para sa atin. kailangan lang sipagan pa ng ating mga kapulisan hulihin ang mga taong mapagsamanta.

  • http://twitter.com/sayangtistkaba jimmy

    wa epek itong law if garcia cant even punish & still in office. wat if they said napupulitika lang yan again! power grab lang, yet this garcia wont loose her power grab at the govrnor office!!! LOL!! Very shameful facts!!!

  • Taiko_Kauna

    matagal ng problema yan bakit ngayon lang napansin ni loren, saan ba siya nanggagaling na planeta?

  • ed_nique

    this has been a problem long before pablo, heightened when banana export prices went down. many stopped school, went to urban areas to look for work, ended up with low paying jobs or prostitution.

    a big portion of these were not even recruited. government has statistics, what are they doing about it?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2UMHGIG2H4KOHCAOA5H7VMKLQY CAJUN

    Agree 101% pero kung walang death sentence, wala ring kwenta. Ganun din pag corrupt ang sistema – pulis, NBI, military, courts, SC, government. ANo ito then? E di pampabango lang para sa elections.

  • $14141131

    Laws are more than enough. The problem is basic enforcement. Authorities skip enforcement because of corruption. Simple.

    Even if Congress and Nhoynoy make a million laws if they are not implemented, everything goes for nothing. It is a shame that even the anti-squatting law cannot be implemented because of the stupid, dirty politicians. The President knows what is happening to laws and to the unfelt anti-corruption. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/EFDAH5IKP2SI53YSSFJM4NNIZI Chester

    Kawawa naman ang mga nasalanta ng Pablo. Sana bigyan ng pansin ni Pnoy ang Expanded Anti Human Trafficking Law ni Loren Legarda.

  • FayeDfairy

    Aside from supplies and money, and these people need laws that will protect them from oppressors. The Expanded Anti Human Trafficking Law by Loren Legarda will protect them.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/OT7WHAIEDW3OEMHRGKM2ZJURZQ Ramon

    the people from Compostela Valley need protection from the people who pray on the weak. Please, we need to spread the information now…

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/WN6IOQVR4BLWOYQH6QENISEPJM Chloe

    It is difficult to imagine how so many people from Mindanao are falling victims to these events. The Expanded Anti Human Trafficking Law by Loren Legarda needs to be signed now.

    • disqusted0fu

       Apparently, laws that involve taxing cigarettes and liquor and laws that provide free contraceptives have a higher priority for Aquino than laws that deal with human trafficking

  • disqusted0fu

    the justice system in this Aquino administration is selective anyway. so these amendments to the existing law, which are supposed to be used for serving justice, might just be used for injustice.

  • RegGoPsycho

    I’m hoping that more people will spread this information. If it’s really sad that people are getting victimized. I we need the expanded antihuman trafficking law pushed already! 

  • gregory robinson

    The United States is at the top or near the top for Illegal Aliens, Illegal Drug use, Illegal Human Trafficking, Illegal weapons sales, Violence, Murders, Govt corruption. How can the Philippines stop Human Trafficking when the United States spends millions of dollars to encourage it and promote it?

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