Rescued human trafficking victims sent home — DSWD PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 14 June 2011 14:31

Out of the 67 human trafficking victims who were rescued last week, 47 were already sent home to their families, according to the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Ms. Ma. Socorro Rojas, Social Welfare Officer IV, said the 47 trafficked victims already returned to their homes, mostly in Luzon.
“Some of the fares were shouldered by their families. However, the DSWD shouldered the fares for those who could not afford it,” Ms. Rojas said.
Most of the victims came from Benguet, Isabela, La Union and Pangasinan and Mindoro and Sultan Kudarat.

As of this writing, 11 victims are still in the custodial care of the DSWD, which is a member-agency of the Sea-Based Anti-Trafficking Task Force with the Philippine Ports Authority.

“We were supposed to send the victims home today, however, because of the storm, we had to postpone their trip,” said Rojas. “But their temporary stay here would help us shed light on who the traffickers are.”

It can be recalled that last week, 42 women were rescued in the port of Bongao, Tawi-Tawi before leaving for Malaysia. Earlier this week, 25 others were rescued in separate operations in a warehouse in Rio Hondo, and aboard vessel plying the Sandakan route. Those who were rescued at the wharf were treated like cargo aboard MV Danica Joy.

The victims were brought to the nearby Bahay Silungan Center of the Philippine Ports Authority – Visayan Forum at the wharf, where they were provided with food as well as psychosocial interventions by social workers from the DSWD and VF.

The victims were offered jobs as domestic helpers, even without proper documents by persons going only by aliases. They were promised jobs in Singapore, Brunei, and even as far away as Jordan in the Middle East. --DOMINIC I. SANCHEZ