THE Mandaue City government will create anti-trafficking councils in seven of 27 barangays to bolster its campaign against prostitution of women and children in the city.
City Councilor Nenita Ceniza-Layese said barangays Umapad, Paknaan, Mantuyong, Guizo, Subangdaku, Tipolo and Opao will undergo a seminar in February next year in preparation for the creation of these anti-trafficking councils.
“The seminar will help strengthen the implementation of the city ordinance,” said Layese, vice chairperson of Mandaue City’s Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking,
The move came a few days after a child abuse complaint was filed against barangay Cambaro councilman Renato “Jay-R” Yosores and his companion, Gio Jay Branzuela.
The two men are accused of bringing five minors inside a motel at the North Reclamation Area and conniving to get them intoxicated.
The four teenage girls, who were supposedly kissed and hugged by Yosores, managed to lock themselves inside a toilet with one of them texting her parents for help.
The complaint was filed by the teenagers and their parents at the Mandaue City Prosecutor’s Office last Friday.
One of the parents asked the Mandaue City government to help them secure justice for their children. Yosores denied the complaint and said the case was politically motivated.
“(Yosores’ case could be considered a case) of attempted trafficking. Since he’s a public official that could (aggravate the circumstances) in his case,” Layese told Cebu Daily News.
The city anti-trafficking ordinance mandates the creation of an anti-trafficking council in every barangay in Mandaue.
But Layese said the barangays may need to enact their own anti-trafficking ordinance based on the city ordinance.
“The barangay ordinance can require their officials to closely monitor nocturnal or late night activities in bus terminals and commercial establishments within their area for the presence of suspicious-looking people,” Layese said.
The Mandaue City Council passed an anti-trafficking ordinance in 2009 and revised it the following year, allocating a P1 million budget for its implementation.
Mandaue City Hall also established the Mandaue Reintegration Support Network (RSN) for Sex Trafficking Survivors in partnership with International Justice Mission (IJM), an international organization campaigning against human trafficking.
Created last year, the network helps rebuild the lives of trafficking victims through counseling. /Reporter Jucell Marie P. Cuyos