Clark airport opens office for interagency task force to fight human trafficking

CLARK INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT—“We are not for sale.Nobody should ever be.”

Thus said Assistant Secretary Juvy R. Manwong of the Department of Justice (DOJ) as she capped her keynote address during the signing of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) creating the Clark International Airport Task Force Against Trafficking (Ciatfat) at this airport’s arrival lobby last Friday.

“Human trafficking covertly erodes the sound foundation of civil society. It derails the development of our humanity and economy by exploiting our younger generation,” she said.

Studies have shown that around 80 percent of human-trafficking victims are women and a fifth are minors. The United Nations Childrens Fund said a child is being prepared for sexual exploitation every two minutes, and 1.2 million children are being trafficked every year, excluding the millions already being held captive by traffickers. In the Philippines the Global Slavery Index data showed that, as of 2017, 401,000 are victims of human trafficking.

“These are not just numbers, not just statistics. These are humans, desecrated, violated and scorned by their fellow humans,” Manwong said.

Among the members of the Ciatfat who signed a MOA for its inception are the Ciac, led by its Officer in Charge Alexander Cauguiran; the DOJ led by Manwong, who is also the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking  head; Regional Prosecutor Carolyn Dumlao-Amis of the DOJ in Central Luzon; Deputy City Prosecutor Percival Atinaja; Visayan Forum Foundation Inc. Executive Director Ma. Cecilia Flores-Oebanda; and Angeles City Gender and Development Office head Purita David, representing Angeles City Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan.

Also signing the MOA were officers and representatives of the Philippine National Police Aviation Security Group; Philippine Overseas Employment Administration; the Department of Social Welfare and Development; the Ing Makababaing Aksyun Foundation; Bureau of Immigration; the National Bureau of Investigation; the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency Regional Office 3; and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-3.

Also signed during the event was the iFight Trafficking Movement that will provide a halfway house and holistic aftercare intervention for victims of human trafficking.

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Ashley Manabat is a correspondent of BusinessMirror. He is also the Vice Chair of Capampangan in Media Inc., Chair NUJP Pampanga chapter and the Treasurer Pampanga Press Club.

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