The United States (US) State Department’s 12th Annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report which kept the Philippines in the Tier 2 Category is a recognition of the Aquino administration’s multi-pronged and aggressive initiatives to curb human trafficking in the country, a Palace official said on Thursday.
Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda issued the statement following the release of the US State Department’s 12th Annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report which underscored several key achievements of the Philippine government in its drive to eliminate human trafficking.
“We will continue to improve our efforts and we would like to be taken out from Tier 2,” Lacierda said.
He said the government is currently tightening the noose against illegal traffickers and recruiter who prey on our hapless countrymen.
The Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking in Persons (IACAT) formulated programs to ensure that human trafficking across the country is put to a stop.
Other gains cited in the 12th Annual Trafficking in Persons Report include the apprehension and filing of criminal and administrative charges against government personnel suspected of conniving with human trafficking syndicates or aiding their operations.
The TIP report also highlighted the continuing accomplishment of the government in the prosecution and conviction of trafficking offenders as well as in helping victims.
The US State Department also lauded the importance placed by the Philippine government in training public officials, particularly in establishing human trafficking indicators, with reference to Filipino migrant workers’ pre-deployment overseas.
The report also cited the cross-border efforts of the government to secure the interests and rights of overseas workers through bilateral agreements, particularly labor-related accessions with foreign countries
A total of US$ 1.5 million or about P65 million was appropriated by the Philippine government to support its operations against human trafficking, prosecution of offenders, and for the protection of the public from this global menace, according to the report.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said the Tier 2 status officially recognizes a country’s significant efforts to adhere to the benchmarks prescribed by the US State Department to meet the minimum standards.