PH gets upgrade in fight vs trafficking
The Philippines has retained its Tier 2 Status in the Global Trafficking in Person Report (GTIP) of the US Department.
Being on Tier 2 status means that the Philippines is making significant efforts but has yet to fully comply with the minimum standards set by the US Trafficking Victims Protection Act.
“We will continue to strive to retain, if not upgrade, our GTIP status and keep pur people protected from human trafficking,” Vice President Jejomar Binay said in a press statement.
He recalled that during the previous administration “the country was placed on Tier 2 Watch List which means the country was noted for severe forms of trafficking.
He also said that the country during the Arroyo administration was also in danger of being downgraded to Tier 3 which would have resulted in sanctions by the US government.
According to Binay, the US State Department has recognized the country’s efforts in preventing human trafficking including the definition of additional acts as constituting trafficking and the inclusion of provisions for the prosecution of attempted trafficking as amended in the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act.
According to the GTIP report, people in the country are trafficked from rural areas to urban centers including Manila, Cebu, Angeles City, and increasingly developing cities in Mindanao.
The report also included other urban areas and tourist destinations such as Boracay, Olongapo, Puerta Galera, and Surigao as destination for trafficked women.
In Cebu province, there were 21 cases recorded in eleven towns and component cities since December 2008, said Cebu Provincial Police Office director Senior Supt. Patrocinio Comendador, Jr.
Highest number of cases were recorded in Cordova town with 11 cases.
The towns with cases reported were identified as Alegria, Pinamungahan, Dumanjug, Balamban, Daanbantayan, Bogo City, Consolacion, Cordova, Minglanilla, Naga and Argao.
However, Comendador said that “while the issue remains a grave concern and despite shocking revelations on the existence of home-based cybersex operations in Cebu, it is not alarming.”
He said that the impression that cybersex operations in the province is alarming is brought by the publicized news of cyberpornorgraphy operating in Cordova.
Former Police Office Regional director Chief Supt. Ager Poblador Ontog, Jr said that “cybersex operations happen not only in Cebu but in other parts of the country. It just happens that the communities are getting involved by giving information on suspicious activities in their nieghborhoods.”
Although news on cybercrime operations in Cebu has been rampant, Comendador said that the “positive side of a publicized controversy is that it increases public awareness that such acts are criminal and a violation of our laws.”