Malacañang on Saturday vowed to strengthen efforts to combat human trafficking after the country retained its Tier 2 status in the United States’s annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report.
In a radio interview, Valte noted the efforts of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking headed by the Department of Justice to keep the country’s Tier 2 status, such as the appointment of more prosecutors to handle trafficking cases.
“In fact, from last year, ‘yung 21 convictions, tumaas na po for this particular year, naging 31 convictions na, at mas marami na ang mga kasong nakararating sa korte kesa noong nakaraang taon [In fact, last year’s 21 convictions went up to 31 this year and more cases have reached the courts],” she said.
“Gusto po nating mas paigtingin pa ang ating mga ginagawa para naman mapababa ‘yung numero ng mga kababaihan at mga bata, at kalalakihan din na nagiging biktima ng trafficking in persons [We want to intensify efforts to lower the number of trafficking victims]. And we want the conviction rate to go up,” Valte noted.
The Palace official said the TIP Report cited the country’s gains in curbing human trafficking and the areas that need to improve.
The report released on June 20 said the Philippines remained at Tier 2 on the State Department’s three tier ranking system.
The TIP report noted that the Philippines made significant efforts to combat trafficking. However, it noted that the government does not yet fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.
Valte said the Department of Social Welfare and Development continues to operate 26 temporary shelters for victims of abuse. The Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA), on the other hand, has been conducting pre-employment seminars for overseas Filipino workers.