Lawmakers file bill vs human trafficking in PH

13 September 2012

ALARMED over the reports that the Philippines is a source, destination, and transit country for men, women and children who are subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor, two lawmakers recently filed a legislative measure that seek for an inquiry on the issue.

House Resolution 2650 has been filed by Cagayan de Oro 2nd District Rep. Rufus B. Rodriguez and Abante Mindanao party-list Representataive Maximo Rodriguez Jr. following reports of the International Labor Organization (ILO) on the incidents of human trafficking in the country wherein victims include minors.

Internal trafficking of men, women and children also remains a significant problem in the country based on the 2011 US Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report.

The report showed that people are trafficked from rural areas to urban centers including Manila, Cebu, Angeles City, and increasingly to cities in Mindanao.

Men are reportedly subjected to forced labor and debt bondage in the agriculture, fishing, and maritime industries while women and children are trafficked within the country for forced labor as domestic workers and small-scale factory workers, forced begging and exploitation wherein hundreds of victims are subjected to forced prostitution in well-known and highly visible business establishments that cater both domestic and foreign demand for commercial sex acts.

Commercial sexual exploitation of children also remains a serious problem in the Philippines.

“There is a very alarming need to address this problem and find ways and enact measures to ensure that human trafficking in the country be stopped,” said the Rodriguez brothers.

HR 2650 also directed the House Committee on Social Services to conduct an inquiry on these reported incidents in the country.