New Law Boosts Drive vs Human Trafficking

Article excerpt

MANILA, Philippines --- Malacanang on Wednesday confirmed that President Benigno S. Aquino III has signed into law Republic Act (RA) 10364, the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012.

The new law was signed by President Aquino on February 6, 2013.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the new law is expected to enhance the government's fight against human trafficking.

He also said the Expanded Anti-Trafficking Law will have additional measures aimed at removing the Philippines from the Trafficking in Persons Watch List.

"We're still in the Watch List. We would like to improve our standing in the Watch List and we hope that with this expanded coverage of anti-trafficking (law), we'll be able to remove ourselves from the Watch List," Lacierda said.

"This is a concern and a priority of our President and this measure will be enforced by the different agencies, especially the DOJ (Department of Justice) and so are our police agencies," he added.

The Expanded Anti-Trafficking Law widens the coverage of Republic Act 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking Bill of 2003 signed by former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Under the Expanded Anti-Trafficking Law, attempted trafficking is now considered a crime, including the recruitment, transport, buying and selling, as well as forcing women and children to engage in exploitation, prostitution, or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery, servitude, or the removal or sale of organs.

The penalty is 20 years imprisonment as well as a fine not less than P1-million but not more than P2-million. …