Senator Risa Hontiveros on Thursday, December 1 called on the government to implement a stricter border control in the Philippines to prevent human trafficking syndicates from pursuing their activities in the country.
At the same time, the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations, and Gender Equality chairperson said they will continue their congressional probe into the issue to exact accountability from any group or individual, whether airport officials or from the Bureau of Immigration (BI) who may be involved in the trafficking scheme where Filipinos are duped to work as cryptocurrency scammers in Myanmar.
“Dapat mapaigting din ang border control dito sa Pilipinas para masigurado na hindi natin ipapasakamay ang ating mga kababayan sa mga sindikato (Border control should also be tightened here in the Philippines to make sure that we do not let our countrymen fall into the hands of syndicates),” Hontiveros said.
“Kailangang mapauwi na din muna ang mga Pilipinong naitratraffick papuntang ibang bansa para mang -scam (Filipinos who have been trafficked to other countries to scam must be sent home first),” she said.
Hontiveros said rapid coordination is needed with various government agencies, such as the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), as well as liaison with governments in other countries.
“Moving forward, there have to be clear transborder solutions. The Philippines, Thailand, and Malaysia are bound by the ASEAN convention against trafficking in persons kaya dapat mayroong tighter coordination para sugpuin ang krimeng ito (that’s why there should be tighter coordination to stop this crime,” she said.
“Mainam na may pagtutulungan at koordinasyon din sa mga estado ng US, Canada, Germany, at UK, lalo na at ang mga mamamayan nila ang kadalasang biktima ng mga scams (It would be good to have cooperation and coordination with the states of the US, Canada, Germany, and the UK, especially since their citizens are often the victims of scams),” she pointed out.
“Walang agarang solusyon sa hirap ng buhay ng ating mga kababayan na naguudyok sa kanilang makipag-saparalan sa ibang bansa. Kaya dapat ring mapabilis ang pagsagawa ng mga programa at polisiyang talagang makapagbibigay ng disenteng pamumuhay sa bawat Pilipino (There is no immediate solution to the hardships of the lives of our countrymen who are motivated to take chances in other countries. Therefore, the implementation of programs and policies that can really provide a decent life to every Filipino must be accelerated,” she stressed.