It defined the respective roles and responsibilities of the task force’s members from the different line agencies as well as the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Dumangas, the pilot area of this endeavor.
DOLE Region 6 Director Ponciano M. Ligutom and heads of other partner-agencies lauded the efforts of the TWG for coming up with such very valuable document. They said that with this document the task force can already operate.
Ligutom, however, commented that the document is localized. He thus suggested converting it into a provincial or regional matrix so that it can be used in the provincial or regional operation. He then suggested exporting this document to other major air and sea ports in Panay.
Asst. Regional Director Rebecca Geamala of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 6 shared Ligutom’s sentiment and asked the group to improve the directory to be more applicable in the regional level.
Ligutom stressed that the IATF-CLIRT is an integration of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) and the Regional Coordinating Council on Child Labor, Illegal Recruitment and Trafficking in Person (RCCCLIRT).
He thus requested Ms. Rhea Glenda Calantas, head of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) 6, to inform the POEA national leadership on the creation of this task force which, he said, is a better body that will serve its purpose because of the strong involvement of concerned partner-agencies.
Asst. Provincial Prosecutor Maria Elena Gerochi of the Department of Justice (DOJ) was so impressed with the organization which, according to her, could help trafficked and illegally recruited persons.
Gerochi disclosed that there were victims who did not know that they have already been victimized by traffickers or illegal recruiters. She even cited the case of a victim who was referred to concerned government agencies which the latter did not know that such person was already a victim of a trafficker.
“They already filed all other cases for the victims except trafficking,” she said.
She was so thankful with this kind of collaboration for it “will help raise the awareness of people in the government.”
LGU-Dumangas Mayor Rolando B. Distura, who has been very supportive in the creation and operationalization of the task force, assured everyone of the support of his municipality in all its efforts.
Distura was the chair of the Executive Committee composed of the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Dumangas, Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), Philippine National Police (PNP), Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), which serves as the secretariat.
Earlier, the LGU-Dumangas, home to one of the major seaports in Iloilo province, along with several partner-agencies, created the Task Force Puerto which is mandated to concentrate its effort in monitoring the trans-shipment of illegal merchandize/contraband and human trafficking utilizing the port as the easiest and fastest gateway going to other destination.
The TWG is composed of representatives from LGU-Dumangas, DOLE, DSWD, DILG, DOJ, PNP, PPA, National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Department of Education (DepEd), Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), Philippine Statistical Authority (PSA), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Land Transportation Office (LTO), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Health (DOH), ATIPAN, Inc., and Iloilo Province and City Social Welfare and Development Offices.
As part of its effort to build the capacity of the focal persons of member-agencies, the task force came up with a plan to conduct trainings in the handling of child labor, illegal recruitment and human trafficking cases, case management documentation as well as paralegal training.