PHL retains its Tier 2 Status in the Global Trafficking in Persons Report

Vice President Jejomar Binay has announced that the Philippines retained its Tier 2 Status in the US State Department Global Trafficking in Persons Report (GTIP).

“I am pleased to announce that for the third time in a row, our country has retained its Tier 2 Status in the Global Trafficking in Persons Report (GTIP) of the U.S. State Department,” the vice president said in a statement released to media including Tawid News on June 20.

Being in Tier 2 status means the Philippines has yet, but is making significant efforts, to fully comply with the minimum standards set by the U.S Trafficking Victims Protection Act.

Binay said that during the previous administration, the Philippines was placed in the Tier 2 Watch List, which meant that the country had severe forms or increasing cases of trafficking.

“We were also in danger of being downgraded to Tier 3 which would have resulted to U.S. foreign assistance sanctions. We were able to improve our status to Tier 2 a year after the administration of President Benigno Aquino III assumed office,” Binay said.

In GTIP 2013, the U.S. State Department recognized that the government had made significant steps to prevent human trafficking, including the amendment enacted to the 2003 Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act that defined additional acts as constituting trafficking in persons and included provisions for the prosecution of attempted trafficking.

However, the U.S. State Department also noted that the government still needs to step up its efforts in the prosecution and conviction of offenders.

Binay thanked the members of Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for their steadfast commitment to put an end to modern slavery and its partner non-government organizations for their invaluable contribution to the fight against trafficking.

Binay is the Chairman Emeritus of the IACAT.

The vice president also extended his heartfelt congratulations to Ms. Susan Ople, founder and president of the Blas F. Ople Policy Center and Training Institute, one of the partner NGOs in IACAT, for the recognition extended by the U.S. State Department. Ms. Ople was named one of TIP Heroes for 2013 for her untiring works to reintegrate trafficking victims into Philippine society.

“We will continue to strive to retain, if not upgrade, our GTIP status and keep our people protected from human trafficking. We will pursue the recommendations of the U.S. State Department and act on them soon,” Binay said.#