In a move to promote human dignity, protect the people from any threat of violence and exploitation, and mitigate pressures for involuntary migration and servitude of persons, the City Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking- Violence Against Women (CIACAT-VAWC) in Cagayan de Oro urges victims of Trafficking in Persons (TIP) to report cases to authorities. This is according to a report filed by the Philippine Information Agency in Region 10.
Since 2010, there were already eight persons convicted with TIP and were sentenced with life imprisonment in the city based on the IACAT’s record. However, the CIACAT-VAWC stresses that there are still a lot of TIP cases that need to be addressed and more victims to educate on the acts that promote TIP.
Currently, the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology-10 (BJMP) conducts information drive on the advocacy of CIACAT-VAWC to their personnel and inmates as part of the agency’s welfare and development program. They also facilitate meetings for female inmates where they discuss the Republic Act 9262 (Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004), RA 7610 (Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act), and RA 10364 (Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012).
For investigation, surveillance, arrest, seizure, rescue operation, filing of criminal cases and referral of victims of TIP cases, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), region 10 encourages victims or witnesses to produce written complaints and/or referral letters. The office is located at Provincial Capitol Compound, with telephone number 722835 or 8564188.
Victims or witnesses could also call or visit Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (COCPO) since the office investigates cases involving women and children, conduct or assist rescue operation together with the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO), and conduct advocacy programs to schools and barangays pertaining to the rights of women and children. COCPO is located at Gumamela Extension, here, and can be contacted at 8583085.
For human rights protection services, investigation, legal aid and counseling, jail visitation, and financial assistance, victims of TIP may coordinate with the Commission on Human Rights. The agency can be reached at 724525 or 8511519.
The CSWDO also assists women and children who are victims of TIP and they can be reached at 09175979513 or 8586325.
CIACAT-VAWC is tasked to provide protection and assistance to trafficked persons. The law also mandates government agencies to establish and implement preventive, protective and rehabilitative programs in line with the mandate of the state.