Wednesday, September 20, 2017

JPIC-IDC, media discuss anti-trafficking laws

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 20 (PIA) – The Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation-Integrated Development Center, Incorporated (JPIC-IDC Inc.) discussed the relevant laws on anti-trafficking in persons, with the media partners coming from the provinces of Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur.

Atty. Howell Rex Mabale, President of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Surigao del Sur Chapter reiterated that trafficking in persons (TIP) is an illegal act and is considered a violation of human rights and inimical to human dignity and national development.

“There are three interrelated and interdependent elements that must be present in a situation to be considered within the purview of Republic Act 9208, as amended by Republic Act 10364. These elements are (1) acts, (2) means, and (3) purpose,” bared Mabale.

Mabale explained that acts involves recruitment, obtaining, hiring, providing, offering, transportation, transfer, maintaining, harboring, or receipt of persons, with or without the victim’s consent or knowledge, within or across national borders.

“As to means, it is committed by use of threat, or of force, or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or position, taking advantage of the vulnerability of the person, or, the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person; while the purpose is done for the purpose of exploitation or the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, involuntary servitude or the removal or sale of organs,” he said.

When asked who can file cases for trafficking in persons, Atty. Mabale underscored that the following persons may file such cases: any person, including a law enforcement office, who has personal knowledge of the commission of the offense; the trafficked person or the offended party; parents or legal guardians; spouse; siblings; or children.

Mabale also emphasized that cases involving trafficking in persons should not be dismissed based on the affidavit of desistance executed by the victims or their parents or legal guardians. Prosecutors are directed to oppose and manifest objections to motions for dismissal.

The good lawyer also clarified that trafficking cases can be filed within 10 years after they are committed. He said that if trafficking is committed by a syndicate or on a large scale against a child, cases can be filed within 20 years after the commission of the act. “The prescriptive period is counted from the day the trafficked person is delivered or released from the conditions of bondage,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, there are mandatory services available for trafficked persons under Republic Act 9208 as amended by Republic Act 10364, which include temporary housing and food facilities; psychological support and counseling; free legal services; medical or psychological services; livelihood and skills training; educational assistance to a trafficked child; and 24-hour call center for crisis calls and technology-based counseling and referral system.

“This is to ensure their recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration into the mainstream society,” underlined Mabale.

During the forum, the participating media suggested to JPIC-IDC to organize another activity wherein other government agencies directly involved in the implementation of the law could also join and impart their respective programs and accomplishments, as well as create a unified system, where they could apply in the actual rescue operations of the trafficked persons in the region. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


186 surfers compete in 19th Siargao National Surfing Cup

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Sept. 20 (PIA) – A total of 186 surfers from the different regions of the country signed up to compete for the 19th National Surfing Cup that formally opened on Sept. 16, 2017 in Cloud 9, General Luna, Siargao Island.

This year’s Siargao National Surfing Cup is the first leg of the Philippine Surfing Championship Tour (PSCT) and 1500 (Grade 2) sanctioned event that will run until Sept. 21, 2017.

According to PSCT President Luke Landrigan, this tour also includes the upcoming 2nd leg in Lanuza, Surigao del Sur, which is scheduled on Nov. 5-11, 2017; 3rd in Baler, Aurora on Nov. 29-Dec. 3, 2017; and the 4th leg will be in San Juan, La Union on Dec. 5-9, 2017.

The champion for the said surfing cup will receive P80,000; 2nd prize, P50,000; Equal 3rd (2), P25,000; Equal 5th (4), P10,000; and Equal 9th (8) will receive P5,000.

“The Philippine Surfing Championship Tour (PSCT) is the country’s first-ever and only professional surfing tournament. Patterned after the Word Surf League, surfers from all over the Philippines will tour around different surf spots to battle for the top spot in the national rankings,” said Landrigan.

Landrigan added, PSCT’s vision is to be the venue for professional surfing in the Philippines that follows the International Surfing Association (ISA) standards of competition, preparing Filipino athletes for the international stage while promoting camaraderie and unity of the surfing community. (SDR/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


AgSur town supports Project ConVERGE implementation

By Rechel D. Besonia & Jovy Alamban

TRENTO, Agusan del Sur, Sept. 20 – The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) through Project ConVERGE conducted a site validation for the proposed pre-post harvest facility (warehouse) of the lead Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Organization (ARBO), the Southern Agusan Seed Producers Cooperative (SASEPCO) at Poblacion Trento.

Engr. Evangeline Hanginan and Engr. Maria Eleonor Uy of the Regional Project Management Office, together with Rural Infra Coordinator Engr. Randy Dapar of the Provincial Project Management Office spearheaded the validation.

Prior to the validation was a meeting at the Municipal Hall Conference Room with the Cluster Project Operations Team (CPOT), Municipal Agrarian Reform Program Officer (MARPO) Engr. Ulpiano Ohiman Jr. together with the Local Government officials, the Municipal Planning and Development Officer Porferio Salubre Jr. and his team, Municipal Agriculturist Norma Dela Cruz, Engr. Deolita Abadillo and the BOD members of SASEPCO, Marilou Gabotero, Teresita Perez and Mary Jane Ytac.

“We already allocated a budget amounting to P7.2-M as our counterpart for this project,” Salubre said as the LGU’s commitment on cost-sharing. The said amount was purposely intended for the proposed Farm-to-Market Road, which will directly benefit the farmers and reduce their hauling costs thereby uplifting the farmers’ well-being and reduce poverty incidence of the Municipality.

Also part of the LGU’s commitment to support the implementation of the project is to formulate the Detailed Engineering Design (DED) and Program of Works (POW) which has a scheduled workshop on October 9-13, 2017.

Engr. Hanginan expressed her thanks for the assurance of the Local Government unit in helping them realize the project. “I am very thankful for your willingness to share the said amount even though the proposed Farm-To-Market Road has yet to be validated,” she said.

The warehouse has an estimated cost of P4 million that will house the multi-pass rice mill and re-circulating batch mechanical dryer.

SASEPCO was very grateful for the construction of new warehouse and the realization of other value chain equipment. “Thank you to DAR and for this project, for giving us this opportunity with the support of the Local Government Unit of Trento,” said BOD member Marilou Gabotero.

“Who knows, we will become successful rice entrepreneurs someday, which will make us compete in the global market,” she added. (Provincial Project M&E/KM Support Staff- Project ConVERGE/DAR-Agusan del Sur/PIA-Agusan del Sur)