Cotabato City (June 17, 2015) – The Department of Social Welfare and Development in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DSWD-ARMM) awarded livelihood assistance to 10 Trafficking in Persons victim-survivors in Maguindanao.ARMM Executive Secretary Atty. Laisa Alamia personally handed P10,000 check each to victim-survivors on Monday, June 15, 2015 during the 5th ORG People’s Day held in Cotabato City.
“Magagamit nila ang natanggap nilang assistance sa kanilang pag-aaral at upang makapagsimula ng maliit na negosyo (They can use the amount they received to pursue higher education as well as in starting a small business),” she said.
Executive Secretary Alamia also referred them to the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)-ARMM for skills development. Rosalie Esturco, technical education and skills education specialist of TESDA-ARMM, said the agency is offering free vocational courses to the victims.
“We want to attend to the needs of these individuals. On our end, the first thing we can do is to get their profiles, know what trainings they need, and endorse them to our provincial training center,” Esturco said.
The intervention is part of the Recovery and Re-integration Program for Trafficked Persons, a national program of DSWD that provides adequate services to victims of human trafficking.
Farhana Gendeng, 17, a resident of Glasi, Datu Piang and one of the victim-survivors thanked DWSD-ARMM and the regional government for the assistance extended to her. She said she will use the amount given to start a small ‘sari-sari’ store to help her and her family.
Based on data from the ARMM Council Against Trafficking (ACAT), there are 387 human trafficking victim-survivors in the autonomous region alone. In the Philippines, the Bongao town in Tawi-Tawi province was identified as the transit point wherein potential victims are often intercepted.
ACAT performs as the regional counterpart of the National Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking. It monitors, oversees and coordinates programs and projects to prevent and suppress trafficking in persons in the region. (Bureau of Public Information)