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PIA Press Release

Anti-illegal recruitment, child trafficking advocacy campaign held in Siquijor

By Rizalie A. Calibo

Province of Siquijor (14 February) -- A series of anti-illegal recruitment and child trafficking advocacy campaigns were held in the six municipalities from January 16- 8, 23-24 and February 7, this year.

The campaigns tackle among others policies against child trafficking & illegal recruitment which was handled by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) through its Provincial Extension Officer Ma. Teresa Tanquiamco. Tanquiamco discussed the two main laws covering illegal recruitment and trafficking in persons as well as the child labor situationer.

Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer Thomas Villarubia shared his experiences related to the nature and scope of child trafficking, the profile of trafficked children and the DSWD's programs and interventions in dealing with trafficked victims.

Provincial Director Col. Orlando Ualat and P/Insp. Benedick Poblete of the Philippine National Police (PNP) also took turns in presenting their office's interventions, institutional arrangements/ mechanisms to combat child trafficking an illegal recruitment while the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) through their respective Municipal Local Government Operations Officer or Elvie Samson-Gaudan of the DILG provincial office, ended each day's advocacy with a lecture on the role of Local Government Units in Combating Illegal Recruitment and Child Trafficking. Emphasis was given on the role of the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children.

The whole day's lectures were interspersed with questions from the participants. Questions ranged from possible ordinances to be adopted at the barangay level to what barangay captains or officials can do with parents who refuse to recognize the state's policies. Concerns regarding the deployment of previously trained barangay tanods under the new barangay administration were also raised.

Meanwhile, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo urged all-female Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) group of the Philippine National Police (PNP) always to be ready to "respond to extreme cases of domestic violence.

"We want to show that police girl power is not only limited to sisterly counseling. It packs a mean firepower as well," the President said during the inauguration of the newly-constructed Women and Children Protection Center (WCPC), a "one-stop-shop investigation unit" tasked to protect the rights of women and children, in Camp Crame, the Philippine National Police (PNP) Headquarters in Quezon City.

Formerly the Women and Children Concerns Division (WCCD), the WCPC now serves as the focal point of coordination and cooperation between the PNP and the different government and non-government organizations (NGOs) involved in enhancing the programs and activities for the protection and welfare of women and children in the fields of investigation, training and counseling.

The President lauded the construction of the WCPC, noting that the inauguration of the facility comes just a few weeks ahead of the celebration of Children and Women's Month in March. (PIA/with DOLE-Siquijor) [top]

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