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PIA Press Release
2008/10/07

IACAT strengthens implementation of RA 9202

by T. Villavert

Iloilo City (7 October) -- The Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) is now intensifying its implementation of Republic Act 9208, otherwise known as the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003.

Heading the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking is Usec. Ricardo R. Blancaflor of the Department of Justice who emphasized that IACAT's aim is to instill awareness and pro-activeness in the fight against trafficking, and ensure the cooperation of these officials who are involved in the procedures of facilitating migrant workers abroad and domestically.

The IACAT is mandated by law to coordinate and monitor the implementation of R.A. 9208.

According to the Malacanang press report, the members of the council, among others, are the DOJ, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), BI, National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), PNP, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and National Council on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW).

Usec Blancaflor said "poverty is the main reason why Filipinos want to go abroad or seek jobs elsewhere. Many Filipinos desire to emigrate to improve their lives; a wish that often leaves them vulnerable to human trafficking".

IACAT's activity called "We are not for sale (victims of human trafficking speak up)." was the second in a series of dialogues the IACAT conducted involving trafficking victims and Bureau of Immigration and airport officials. Four women victims of human trafficking came out last Friday and recounted their ordeals before Bureau of Immigration (BI), Philippine National Police (PNP) and airport officials at the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Clark, Pampanga.

The IACAT was aided in the activity by the Blas F. Ople Policy Research Center and The Visayan Forum, the Malacanang press report disclosed. (PIA) [top]

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