Mayor Cristina G. Romualdez

TACLOBAN CITY – In an effort to step up its anti-trafficking in persons (ATIP) initiatives, the local government unit of Tacloban under Mayor Cristina G. Romualdez in partnership with International Non-Government Organization (INGO) Plan International launched on Thursday, February 14, 2019, the TIP Help Desk at the Tacloban New Bus Terminal in Abucay.
The help desk aims to create and establish a system of reporting, monitoring, investigating and responding of trafficking in persons (TIPs) cases.
City Social Welfare Officer Remedios Buna said that the initiative will help ensure effective and efficient coordination among different government agencies and other institutions in rescuing and providing protection to trafficked victim-survivors.
Prior to the launching, the Abucay Terminal Staff headed by its Manager Emmanuel Naval attended an orientation on ATIP laws and other child protection laws, presented by Rhoda Ercilla, Plan OIC Project Manager and Tacloban Women and Shelter Head, Carmela Bastes.
Human trafficking is the violation of the Republic Act (RA) 9208 of 2003 as amended by RA 10364 or Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012. It is defined as an illegal act that is committed for the purpose of exploiting someone’s labor or services.
The city government is making headway in its anti-trafficking initiatives.
Last year, in coordination with other government agencies, the CSWDO rescued 31 victims of trafficking; of the number were 29 adults rescued from their abusive employer in Pangasinan and 2 minors saved from online sexual exploitation.
Meantime, the City Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Trafficking (CIACAT) chaired by Mayor Romualdez composed of 35 government agencies meets quarterly.
Two help desks will also be launched at the Tacloban DZR Airport this March, which will be situated at the arrival and departure areas, and will be manned by police and CSWD personnel.(HENRY JAMES G. ROCA/CIO)