Bukidnon intensifies campaign to combat child trafficking
by Ruby Leonora R. Balistoy
Malaybalay City, Bukidnon (6 December) -- In an effort to deal with the problem on child trafficking, Bukidnon governor Alex Calingasan ordered the Provincial Inter-Agency Council Against Human Trafficking (PIACAT) and the Philippines Anti-Child Trafficking (PACT) to set up activities to create awareness amongst citizens of trafficking in persons.
In a council meeting, Sammy Talucdo, PACT Bukidnon convenor reported that based on July 16, 2010 Philippine National Police (PNP) reports, the PNP and Cabanglasan anti-child trafficking council rescued 16 youths allegedly invited to a youth camp and recruited as religious scholars in Iloilo City.
Talucdo related that one of the rescued youngsters recounted their ordeal. They only had two meals a day as they were forced to preach'to win people's soul' in the city's public places and reached out to ask donations for their allowance.
With this, Provincial Prosecutor Mirabeus Undalok said the council should strengthen the anti-child trafficking campaign especially that most of the target victims are those from the far-flung barangays.
Arsenio Alagenio, Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer said the local government units, national government agencies, civil society groups, the academe, and private entities have lined-up activities in observance of the International Day Against Human Trafficking on December 12 this year.
One of the main events is the simultaneous radio broadcast through the Bukidnon Press Club, Philippine Information Agency and the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas. The Department of Interior and Local Government, PNP Provincial Prosecutor, and other PIACAT members will explain on air and answer queries concerning human trafficking from the listening public.
"With the theme "Justice and Protection for Trafficked Child," this campaign intends to give people knowledge about how human trafficking happens, Talucdo stressed.
Prosecutor Undalok said that organized crime syndicates often control human trafficking. It is a crime against humanity.
"This is why the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act or R.A. 9208 institutes policies to eliminate and punish human trafficking especially women and children," Undalok ended. (PIA Bukidnon) [top]