The Bureau of Immigration (BI) eyes forging a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with travel agencies to strengthen the fight against trafficking.
The collaborative effort, according to BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco, seeks to strengthen the commitment of the private sector in thwarting trafficking activities.
A similar agreement is likewise being eyed with both airline and shipping companies.
“This is inspired by the US model, where airline employees play a crucial role in reporting potential cases of trafficking,” said Tansingco. “We recognize the immense value of partnerships between law enforcement agencies and the private sector. As seen in incidents in the US, collaborations among agencies is instrumental in identifying and preventing trafficking incidents,” he added.
The agreement will focus on three initiatives namely reporting of cases of trafficking to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT), preventing the proliferation of fake documents, and ensuring proper information dissemination on immigration requirements.
The forthcoming MOA emphasizes the need for a holistic approach in combating human trafficking. Tansingco believes that the active involvement of the private sector is pivotal in achieving a comprehensive and sustainable impact.
“Combating human trafficking requires a collective effort from all sectors. This is a call for unity and collaboration among public and private stakeholders to protect the vulnerable and eradicate human trafficking,” said Tansignco. “This MOA represents a significant stride towards achieving these shared goals,” he added.
BI eyes agreement with travel agencies against trafficking
Meanwhile, BI successfully intercepted four trafficking victims at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 on Tuesday.
The individuals, consisting of three females and one male, with ages ranging from 20s to 30s, were intercepted after being found to be victimized by an elaborate illegal recruitment scheme.
The BI’s swift action was prompted by information from an anonymous source, providing details about the recruitment activities involving the four individuals.
According to the email, they had been deceived and recruited under false pretenses to work in Cambodia’s online casino industry.
The passengers initially claimed to be employed in the country, and are traveling abroad for tourism. However, during the investigation, they confessed that they had been unlawfully recruited as telemarketers for an online gaming company, enticed with a promised monthly salary of 800 USD.