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PIA Press Release

Leyte SP cites DOLE 8 for prompt anti trafficking efforts

Tacloban City (September 8) -- The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of the Province of Leyte unanimously passed a resolution citing the Department of Labor and Employment in Region 8 for its speedy action and proper coordination which resulted in the rescue of 64 illegally-recruited Eastern Visayas workers, most of whom were from the province of Leyte.

In making the motion during the SP regular session on September 7, Board Member Roque Tiu said it is but proper to commend the DOLE Region 8 under Regional Director Forter Puguon as it is thru its prompt action and proper coordination with the various government agencies and local government units concerned that paved the way for the successful rescue and bringing home to Leyte and Region 8 of the victims.

It could be recalled that the illegally recruited workers were found in a sardine-making factory owned by Aquatic Food Corporation in Zamboanga City.

The rescue was initiated by DOLE Regional Office 8 Regional Director Forter Puguon who tipped off DOLE 9 Regional Ponciano Ligutom about the inhumane condition, ill treatment, and underpayment of wages of these workers.

Director Puguon sought the latter's assistance considering that the illegally-recruited workers were under his jurisdiction.

It was Director Puguon who contacted the local chief executives even on a week-end to inform them about the situation of their constituents.

The issue opened the eyes of all the concerned sectors to call for a more vigilance and enhanced monitoring of cases on violation of RA 9208, otherwise known as the "Anti-Trafficking in Person Act".

RA 9208 is a law that protects the forced or deceptive harboring, recruitment or transportation of children and adults for purposes of prostitution, forced labor or other forms of exploitation.

In the Eastern Visayas region, more than 500 cases of trafficking were reported since 2004 up to the first semester of 2007, hence, a need for intensified campaign against the illegal act. (PIA 8) [top]

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