TACLOBAN CITY- The Leyte provincial government has stepped up its drive against child trafficking in the province. Governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla said that the Leyte Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) has organized and deployed anti-child trafficking teams in various ports in the province in cooperation with the Philippine National Police and other law enforcement agencies as part of its effort to address occurrence of human trafficking, mostly involving children, in the province.
Petilla said that it has been observed that traffickers are using mostly sea ports as their way out in smuggling their victims considering that the security in the sea ports are more lax compared to land and airports that can easily be detected by law enforcers. Petilla added that there were already several instances wherein the syndicates were apprehended by authorities with their victims in various ports in the province. He added that the teams were deployed in all major seaports across the province, namely, those located in Hilongos, Bato, Palompon and Isabel and in Baybay City.
By deploying teams in sea ports across the province, they are giving more security to these facilities and could serve as deterrent against traffickers, the governor said. Petilla expressed optimism that with the creation and deployment of the anti-child trafficking teams in various sea ports in the province will result to reduction, if not elimination, of cases of human trafficking in Leyte. (RESTITUTO A. CAYUBIT)