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PIA Press Release
Friday, January 20, 2012

DSWD-9 provides temporary shelter to 62 illegally-recruited fishermen

PAGADIAN CITY, Jan 20 (PIA) -– The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office IX assisted sixty-two (62) illegally-recruited fishermen in just one week after 3 batches of male victims sought shelter at its Processing Center for Displaced Persons (PCDP).

As of press time, the 62 males mostly from Bohol and Lapu-Lapu City are presently housed at the PCDP while awaiting case developments after being intercepted by the Port Police last January 11.

Social workers learned that a certain resident from Bongao personally went to Bohol to fetch the fishermen. They were promised good wages for deep sea fishing with free accommodation and food. Accordingly, the group consists of three teams which will be sent out to Languyan, Sitangkai and Bongao. Said employer contracted them for four months.

The Zamboanga City Port Police became suspicious of the group after noticing that only one person purchased their tickets, which prompted the police to invite two members of the group to their office for inquiry. DSWD with partner agencies Philippine Center for Transnational Crime (PCTC) and Visayan Forum immediately proceeded to the port area for proper interventions.

The Sea-Based Anti-Trafficking Task Force (SBATTF), an inter-agency committee with the following as key members – DSWD, PCTC, DOLE, VF, DOJ, Port Police and PPA have started the series of case conferences tackling the matter for possible violation of labor policies.

Meanwhile, DSWD continually provides basic and psychosocial services to those housed at PCDP while awaiting developments from the case. (JPA./DOLE/NZB/PIA9-CAL).

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