EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES. Hundreds of job seekers from Tacloban City and nearby areas availed of a job fair sponsored by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Public Employment Service Office (PESO), and United Filipino Global (UFG) on June 1 with about 5,000 slots both for local and international works were offered.

PBBM has issued order to stop the illegal act

TACLOBAN CITY—A woman was arrested in Catarman, Northern Samar, on Saturday (June 1) at about 3 p.m. for attempting to sell her two-month-old baby boy.

The 23-year-old mother, who agreed to sell her baby for P60,000 to an agent posing as a buyer, is from San Roque, 29 kilometers away from the provincial capital of Catarman, where the transaction took place.

According to the report from the regional police headquarters in Palo, Leyte, the suspect arranged the transaction online.

The Women and Children Protection Center (WCPC) of the Philippine National Police in Camp Crame discovered the attempt and pretended to want to buy the child offered by the suspect online.

As the two parties agreed to meet at an undisclosed location in Catarman on Saturday, personnel from the WCPC, along with the Women and Children Protection Desk of Police Regional Office 8, Catarman Municipal Police Station, and in coordination with the Department of Justice Regional Anti-Trafficking Task Force and the Catarman municipal social welfare office (MSWO), launched the operation.

After the transaction was completed, the suspect was immediately arrested by the operatives.

The baby, who was being sold, and his two-year-old sister, who was also with their mother at the time, were rescued and are now in the custody of the MSWO of Catarman.

The suspect is now detain at the Catarman Municipal Police Station and was charged with violations under RA 9208, as amended by R.A. 11862, also known as the “Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2022.”

Police provincial director Col. Sonnie Omengan issued a stern warning against individuals engaging in such unscrupulous activities.

“We will stand steadfast in our fight to fully protect young children by going against unscrupulous individuals who exploit children,” he said in a statement.

“I encourage the public to assist us in preventing crime and maintaining peace and order by promptly reporting any criminal activity to the nearest police station. Rest assured that your identity will be kept private and anonymous,” he continued.

The online selling of babies has become rampant, prompting President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. to direct the DOJ and other law enforcement agencies to address this issue.

The DOJ has also emphasized the need for a whole-of-nation approach involving the private sector, communities, civil society, and social media platforms to combat the sale and illegal adoption of children.

The public is urged to report illegal activities, and Meta Platforms Inc., the parent company of Facebook, is encouraged to implement more initiatives to protect children online.