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PIA Press Release
2007/01/31

DILG intensifies anti-trafficking advocacy through new circular

by Fryan E. Abkilan

SURIGAO DEL NORTE (January 31) -- Through the efforts of the USAID/Solidarity Center Anti-Trafficking Project2 and its various partners, the Department of Interior and Local Government issued Memorandum Circular No. 2006-172 to “institutionalize an integrated multi-sectoral approach" in combating trafficking in persons.

The said circular calls all provincial governors, city/municipal mayors, punong barangays, DILG regional/provincial/city directors, field officers and others concerned to conduct massive information dissemination campaign, sustain the functionality of the Migrant Advisory and Information Network (MAIN) desks in all cities and municipalities, enact and enforce local ordinance against human trafficking, and livelihood assistance program for trafficking victims/survivors and their families.

The LGUs are encouraged to integrate in their plan massive information drive topics on RA 9208, RA 9262, gender and development, responsible parenthood, women and children’s rights and population management. It calls for local entities such as the Local Sanggunian Committee on Family and Children, Local Peace and Order Council, Local Council on the Protection of Children (LCPC), Local Council of Women, Barangay Human Rural Rights Action Offices (BHRAOs), and Gabay sa Mamamayan Action Centers (GMACs) to work together with other Leagues, media and concerned agencies on anti-trafficking activities. The Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP), on the other hand, is enjoined to assist the LGUs with many cases of human trafficking through organized symposia.

Memorandum Circular 2006-172 also aims to sustain the functionality of the MAIN Desks. Together with concerned local offices, the MAIN Desks will prepare referrals of Mail Order Bride cases, document trafficking and illegal recruitment cases, establish partnership with the local Public Employment Service Office (PESO) and the City/Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (C/MSWDO), establish a web page which will be inter-connected with concerned NGOs and agencies, develop IEC materials on cases of trafficked persons and maintain partnership with local media.

Through the circular, the DILG enjoins the Sangguniang Panlalawigan/Panlunsod/Bayan to pass local ordinances requiring recruitment agencies or any recruiter/individual soliciting applications for employment to register with the PESO, converge all efforts of multi-sectoral stakeholders at the local level in anti-trafficking advocacy, adopt a mechanism and provide funds for the prevention, rescue, recovery, rehabilitation and integration/after care support services to trafficking victims/survivors and their families and penalize all illegal and accomplices according to the provisions of the Revised Penal Code.

Moreover, LGUs are encouraged to develop and implement a livelihood assistance package for victims/affected families and to integrate the anti-trafficking initiatives into their annual operations plans and budget.

Other highlights of the Circular includes a directive to DILG Field Officers to direct and coordinate with concerned local officials on its implementation and for the PNP to monitor, document and submit quarterly reports of trafficking cases using the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) Complaint Standard Report Form. The Circular formally delegates to the NAPOLCOM the mandate of DILG to maintain a databank.

The new circular which was issued last December 12, 2006 supplements the Department's Memorandum Circular No. 2005-26 issued in March 14, 2005 on the strict implementation of RA 9208 -- to all levels of local governments, DILG field office and other concerned offices. MC 2005-26, which was initiated by the Project and its partners -- is an enabling mechanism for local government units to institute local policies on trafficking." (PIA-Surigao del Norte) [top]

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