CATBALOGAN CITY – The province of Samar continued to be the source of illegally recruited women and children promised for high-paying jobs in Metropolitan cities.
Rhoda Ercilla of Plan Philippines said, as she quoted a local study, that poor individuals from this province have become victims of human trafficking then later out landed in sex dens, abused and exploited.
In a forum attended by some 600 women, the problem on Human Trafficking and the Magna Carta for Women was tackled during the Women’s Month celebration in Paranas town, in Samar.
Ms. Ercilla said they have formulated some strategies to avoid the escalation of the problem in the province to include disseminating good information and tips as well as the reinforcing the local authorities in gateways of the region.
Meanwhile, Myra M. Tambor of Katungod han Samarena Foundation (KSFI) also shared insights on the existing law – the Republic Act 9710 or Magna Carta of Women (MCW).
Tambor said MCW is a comprehensive women’s rights law that seeks to eliminate discrimination through the recognition, protection, fulfillment and promotion of the rights of Filipino women, especially those belonging in the marginalized sectors of the society.
This year’s Women’s Month theme “Kababaihan gabay sa tuwid na landas” emphasized the need to accelerate participation in governance and enhance gender perspective in upholding good governance.
Tambor said that since this is according to the “Daang Matuwid” of President Benigno Aquino, the women’s group will push for the increased number of women in third level positions in the government with a fifty-fifty (50-50) gender balance and the participation/composition of women in all levels of development planning and program implementation.
Aquino earlier signed into law the Expanded Anti-Trafficking Act of 2012 (RA No. 10364) which will give a strong message against the syndicates that the government is serious in fights against human trafficking.
Under the landmark law, any attempt to recruit and deploy Filipinos for human trafficking is recognized as a criminal offense. It also removes the cloak of confidentiality for perpetrators of human trafficking so they could no longer hide from the public by citing their right to privacy.
It is said that illegal recruitment and trafficking of women to countries such as Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Malaysia, and South Korea continue despite repeated warnings from the government.