PHL GOV’T TO RAISE THE BAR IN FIGHT VS HUMAN TRAFFICKING
With the approved first-ever cross sectoral work plan on human trafficking, the Philippine government has set its eyes on raising the bar in the fight against trafficking in persons (TIP) as its plays host to the upcoming consultative meeting of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-member countries in Panglao, Bohol on March 5-6, 2019.
Speaking during the recent security briefing, DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año instructed top government officials involved in the preparation to provide international guests with the best hosting for the ASEAN Cross-Sectoral Consultative Meeting on the Implementation of the Bohol TIP Work Plan 2017-2022.
“Let us raise the bar in our common quest against human trafficking and make sure to provide our international guests with the best hosting for this once in a lifetime event,” Año said.
“Tulong-tulong tayong lahat para maging matagumpay ang ASEAN event na ito. Malaki ang aking paniniwala na matagumpay nating ma-aaddress ang napakalaking problema sa human trafficking lalong-lalo na sa mga kababaihan at mga kabataan,” he added.
Also called the ASEAN Multi-Sectoral Work Plan, the Bohol TIP Work Plan serves as a guide to all concerned sectoral bodies to implement anti-trafficking activities in the ASEAN region such as TIP prevention, protection of victims, law enforcement and prosecution of crimes of trafficking in persons, and Regional International Cooperation and Coordination.
On the occasion of the 31st ASEAN Summit last year, ASEAN leaders noted the Bohol Plan 2017-2020, which has been finalized after its full endorsement by all of the relevant ASEAN sectoral bodies.
Bohol as purview choice
Año said that the conduct of consultative meeting in Bohol is a purview choice for sharing of good practices in the cross-sectoral implementation of Bohol TIP Work Plan, ASEAN Convention Against Trafficking in Persons Especially Women and Children (ACTIP) and its Associated Plan of Action (APA).
“Panglao is a world-renowned tourist destination and Bohol Governor Edgardo M. Chatto is a recipient of numerous awards. I am pretty sure that with all bases covered, this event will be a huge success,” he said.
Apart from sharing of good practices, the two-day ASEAN event will also discuss recent developments in ASEAN, ways forward for establishing a monitoring and reporting mechanism on TIP, briefing and discussions on future plans for ACTIP socialization workshops at the national level, and informal networking to strengthen working relationships between and among concerned ASEAN sectoral bodies.
Sec. Año and Gov. Chatto are expected to grace the welcome dinner while DILG Undersecretary for Peace and Order and SOMTC Leader-Philippines Usec. Bernardo C. Florece, Jr. will grace the opening ceremonies. Philippine Center on Transnational Crime (PCTC) Executive Director and SOMTC Philippine Head Secretariat Used Allan C. Guisihan will grace the closing ceremonies.
ASEAN Sectoral bodies vs TIP
About 100 participants from the various ASEAN Sectoral Bodies are expected to attend the ASEAN meeting.
Said event is a collective effort of the DILG as SOMTC Philippines Project Implementer, Philippine National Police-PCTC as SOMTC Philippines Secretariat, and The Asia Foundation as Technical and Financial Support.
Top officials from the Office of the Special Envoy to Transnational Crime (OSETC), Women Children Protection Center (WCPC) and Department of Justice (DOJ) are also expected to be part of the Philippine delegation during the said ASEAN meeting.
Photo by Bullit Marquez/AP/Philstar