Palawan – Board Member Ryan Maminta filed additional resolutions to intensify and enhance the government’s campaign regarding the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003, particularly because Palawan is reportedly being used now as a “transit point of human traffickers”.
Maminta said this comes after the death due to food poisoning involving two undocumented Palaweños in Bangui Island, Malaysia.
The legislator said that the two men, who were identified both from Roxas town, allegedly made their way to Malaysia through entry points located in Southern Palawan.
This alerted the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to focus on the need to increase awareness of human trafficking in the province.
“Ang dalawa nating kababayang ito ay undocumented, seemingly victims of some illegal activities, particularly human trafficking and illegal recruitment,” Maminta said.
“Ang gusto nating mangyari, bilang kinatawan sa bahaging Sur na pintuan ng mga pangyayaring ito partikular sa mga ports of entry and exit, ay mabisita ng Committe on Human Rights ang implementasyon ng Republic Act 9208 as amended by Republic Act 10364 o ‘yung Anti-Human Trafficking in Persons Act dito sa ating lalawigan, kasama na rin ‘yung kaakibat na batas na pinapatupad ng pamahalaan,” Maminta added.
Maminta disclosed that he recently visited Balabac and discovered that allegedly, there are still over 200 undocumented Palaweños working in Malaysia and there are still hundreds who are under illegal applications.
“Allegedly, mayroon pa tayong mga kababayan na andoon, mahigit dalawang daan kung hindi ako nagkakamali, at mayroon pang mahigit daang mga kababayan pa tayo na in the process di umano ng pagpunta sa lugar na ‘yan upang magtrabaho. At ito ay ‘yung mga undocumented, maaring biktima sila ng human-trafficking o illegal recruitment,” Maminta said.
The Sangguniang Panlalawigan is persuading the COH and the Department of Migrant Workers, the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation, the Department of Justice, the Philippine National Police, the National Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Foreign Affairs to come to the province to coordinate with local government officials and other concerned stakeholders to collaborate measures and action plans to stop human smuggling, as well as to stringently monitor Bataraza, Balabac, and other entry and exit points to avoid similar incidents.