IJM-Pampanga Field Office Director Atty. Reynaldo Bicol Jr. lauded the DOLE Regional Office in his commendation letter to Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz, which read:
“The DOLE Regional Office No. 3’s dedication in our common goal of eradicating any form of human-trafficking is exemplified in the closure of seven establishments in the provinces of Pampanga and Tarlac, as well as Olongapo City, over the past twelve months which include Aby Lyn Wine Bar, Jumping Jack Flash Bar, Shadow’s Mini Bar, Nasty Duck Bar, and Aries 06 Bar and Grill, among others.”
The closure of these bars, according to Bicol, resulted in the prevention and protection for many women and young girls and will no longer be exploited, because of their economic conditions, in such establishments.
“The DOLE Regional Office No. 3’s swift anddecisive action serves as a deterrent to further violations on anti-trafficking and child labor laws,” Bicol said.
To date, the anti-human trafficking rescue team comprising the IJM, DOLE, PNP, and other concerned agencies have already rescued 40 women, of which, 12 are minors.
Bicol also took the opportunity in his letter to Baldoz in lauding the leadership of the DOLE Regional Office No. 3 for its cooperation and close-coordination with the IJM.
“We would like to commend present and former DOLE-Regional Directors, Atty. Ana Dione and Raymundo Agravante, along with Med-Arbiter Atty. Remedios Vegim-Teves, and Sheriff Gregorio Sigui Jr., for their valiant effort as leaders in helping demonstrate that justice for the poor is possible,” Bicol said, adding:
“They exhibited remarkable leadership while coordinating with our IJM staff and their team during field operations which helped secure the closure of multiple establishments that were exploiting women and minors. They responded with professionalism and dedication to the call of duty.”
Director Dione, who also received a copy of the IJM’s commendation letter, welcomed and expressed her appreciation for the good news for the DOLE Regional Office No. 3.
“We are truly honored to receive such citation from the International Justice Mission. For the past years or so, we have been working closely together with the IJM, along with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and other concerned agencies, as a full-forced rescue team in ensuring that women and young girls, especially those from the poorest of the poor families, would be alleviated from sexual exploitation,” Dione said, adding:
“Rest assured that we will continue to our work with dedication, through convergence with our partner agencies from the public and private sector, to always be on the lookout with vigilance in our quest to finally end or minimize the incidence of human trafficking.”
Bicol said in his letter that IJM recognizes and greatly appreciates the work of the DOLE in its fight against human trafficking.
“We are always looking forward in supporting the DOLE’s efforts in the future as it continues enforcing the law in behalf of exploited women and children in this region,” Bicol said.