With the heightened information dissemination on RA 9208 Anti Human Trafficking Act and RA 9262 Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children (VAWC) Act, the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1 (DSWD FO1) served 50 victim survivors of trafficking for the first six months this year.

 From the total served clients, 29 of whom were provided with livelihood assistance, 10 were recipients of Balik Probinsiya and the rest were provided with counseling and referred for other support services.

 Among the 10 recipients of Balik Probinsiya are Mr. Bernardito C. Jimenez, 36 and his common-law wife, Ailene, 35 from Brgy. Calepaan, Asingan, Pangasinan. The couple successfully went back home last June through the close coordination being done by the concerned field offices of DSWD.

 Bernardito shared their experience while at the verge of being trafficked for 5 months in Malaysia during a Symposium conducted by the DSWD FO1 regarding RA 9208 and RA 9262 and other related child welfare laws at the Francisco A. Sapigao Cultural Sports Complex in Asingan, Pangasinan.

 “This symposium served as an eye opener to everyone in the proliferation of human trafficking and to avoid being a victim. Nevertheless, DSWD is always on red alert to render appropriate services or assistance to the victims”, said Social Welfare Officer I (SWO I) Teresita J. Emock.

 The Municipal Government Operations Officer V (MGOO V) Mrs. Marivic Q. Guerrero gave emphasis on the functions and active involvement of all barangay officials through the Local Committee on Anti-Trafficking (LCAT). She encouraged the establishment of a VAW Desk in the barangays.

 Aside from that, the participants were urged by the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer Mrs. Teresita Mamalio to intensify their commitment in the implementation of the laws discussed.

 Salient provisions regarding Anti Human Trafficking Act and VAWC Act and other related laws such as RA 7610 and RA 9775 Anti-Child Pornography Law were rigidly articulated to all the 200 individuals who attended the said symposium.

 Among the participants were Municipal Officials, Asingan Day Care Workers and Day Care Parent Leaders, Pantawid Pamilya Parent Leaders, selected Tricycle and Jeepney Drivers and Operators Association Leaders, Business/Vendors Association Representatives, Barangay Officials, Women Leaders, LGU MIACAT-VAWC Leaders, OFW Association Leaders, Senior Citizen Leaders, Department of Education (DepEd) Elementary and High School Heads, Midwives and Inter-faith Pastoral Groups. (By Jaesem Ryan A. Gaces, Administrative Assistant V, NHTS-PR )