Gov’t steps up drive against human trafficking

By Joanne Namnama G. Parrocha


SAN FERNANDO CITY, — Efforts to curb human trafficking in the region continues.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), other line agencies and focal persons from local government units (LGUs) in Region 1 met on July 9 for the quarterly Regional Inter-Agency Committee against Trafficking (Riacat) at the DSWD Conference Hall here.

Assistant Regional Prosecutor Maribel Uminga, Riacat co-chair, discussed the main provisions of Republic Act 9208, also known as Anti-trafficking in Persons Act of 2003, and the amendments made through RA 10364 known as the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012.

Pursuant to the law, the DSWD has designed a recovery and reintegration program for trafficked persons (RRPTP), a program that gives assistance to “victim survivors”.

Last year, the reintegration program was under the DSWD’s Social Technology Bureau which conceptualizes, develops and pilot tests the agency’s new social welfare and development (SWD) programs and projects.

Since the program brought great impact, it has been implemented as a regular program beginning April.

Clarivel C. Banzuela, the program’s focal person in the region said, they have provided assistance to 50 clients, 28 of whom were given P10,000 each as a livelihood assistance and seven were provided the balik-probinsya program where trafficked persons were brought back to their families in their respective provinces.

“The rest were given other forms of help such as counseling, therapy, skills training and transportation assistance. We provided package of assistance to all the 50 clients,” said Banzuela.

Meanwhile, local government units continue their advocacies against human trafficking through the conduct of symposiums and orientations in their community and schools within their area.

Local governments are encouraged to submit their proposals on their advocacies for a more active information dissemination of the program. Funds and resource speakers will be provided by the DSWD.#