MANILA, Philippines (Xinhua) — President Aquino vowed today to put an end to human trafficking in the country.
Mr. Aquino noted that while there are Filipinos still leaving for abroad to seek greener pastures, he said his administration will not let human traffickers victimize them.
The law against human trafficking will not be allowed to be corrupted by influential people, he said, adding that concerned government agencies have been instructed to work together to fight the menace.
The coordination between government agencies and non-government organizations have resulted to the removal of the Philippines from the Tier 2 Watch list of the 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report released by the United States government last month.
The report recognized the significant efforts being undertaken by the Philippine government to combat trafficking in persons such as the almost 200-percent increase in convictions of traffickers, including convictions for labor trafficking.
The country has started to make gains economically and Mr. Aquino said in the near future no underage Filipinos will be allowed to leave the country to work and become victims of human traffickers.
Many of those who were reported to have been victims of human trafficking were women who have been seeking jobs in other parts of the country or abroad.
The government and NGO estimates on the number of women trafficked range from 300,000 to 400,000 and the number of children trafficked range from 60,000 to 100,000. Many Filipino men and women voluntarily migrate to work abroad but later coerced into exploitative conditions.
How does the President propose to use human trafficking to justify curtailment of the right to travel?
The Bureau of Immigration through its Travel Control and Enforcement Unit (TCEU) disallowed the departure of some 32,038 Filipino travelers in the first half of this year.
to be continued…