COTABATO CITY — Ministries of the Bangsamoro Government participated in a consultation on the national strategic plan against trafficking in persons held here Tuesday, May 17, by the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) and Blas Ople Foundation.
The national strat plan will serve as the Philippines’ roadmap for the next five years in protecting its people from all forms of exploitation.
Accordingly, the consultation with BARMM ensures that said plan is as inclusive and as broad-based as possible, with high consideration and utmost respect to the mandates of the Bangsamoro Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Trafficking and Violence Against Women and Children (BIACAT-VAWC).
IACAT Administrative Officer-III Nomi Imbang said, “We are happy to join you here today to discuss, provide inputs, and to collaborate to form the national strategic plan against trafficking in persons.”
“We must offer a major congratulations to the Bangsamoro Government under the leadership of the Chief Minister Ahod B. Ebrahim for the creating the BIACAT-VAWC,” she added.
IACAT was established as the central coordinating body that monitors and oversees the strict implementation of Republic Act No. 9208, known as the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003, which was amended in 2012 through RA No. 10364, collectively known as the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act.
It is mandated, among others, to develop comprehensive and integrated programs to prevent and suppress trafficking in persons, establish the necessary institutional mechanism for the protection and support of trafficked persons, and ensure the timely, coordinated, and effective response to cases of trafficking in persons particularly in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking persons cases.
Attendees to Tuesday’s activity were personnel from the ministries of Social Services and Development (MSSD), Interior and Local Government (MILG), Indigenous Peoples Affair (MIPA), Transportation and Communications (MOTC), Health (MOH), and Bangsamoro Women Commission (BWC). Also present were non governmental organizations such as the Save the Children and International Office of Migration (IOM), as well as representatives from the Philippine National Police.
The consultation was sponsored by the Australian Aid, ASEAN-Australia Counter Traffickers and AWO International. (Majid Nur/BIO)