The Philippine government will focus more on strong areas to finally stop human trafficking following the report of the US State Department recently that has also retained the country at Tier 2 ranking.
In a press briefing in Malacanang on Friday, Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said that while the State Department mentioned inadequacies in the government’s fight against human trafficking there are also some positive observations.
Among the gains of the Philippine government is the increase in the number of prosecutors handling human trafficking cases in the country, she said.
“The year before the reporting year, it was 57; ngayon tinaasan na to 98, so isa ‘yan sa mga magagandang observations. We intend to exert more efforts on the positive areas and to likewise address the recommendations that were raised,” Valte said.
There are ten recommendations spelled out by the US State Department and the Interagency Council Against Trafficking intends to act on all of it, she added.
In its 2013 Trafficking in Persons report, the US Department of State maintained the country’s Tier 2 status owing to inefficiencies in the justice system and complicity of law enforcers in curbing trafficking in persons.
Being in Tier 2 means failure to fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of severe forms of trafficking as provided by the Trafficking Victims’ Protection Act of 2000, but are making significant efforts to achieve those standards.
Having this ranking means the government sustained its levels of funding for the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking last year and has been continuing its efforts to implement anti-trafficking laws and policies.