MANILA, Feb. 15 — “Our projects in the field, particularly in remote areas, should not be used as platforms of trafficking in persons (TIP) activities.”
Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Rogelio L. Singson said after receiving reports that surge in construction activities and construction workers in remote places spawned the presence of various sex establishments (brothels, videoke bars and carinderias) that lead to TIP.
In response, Singson said DPWH Committee on Gender and Development (COGAD), in partnership with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) through the Millennium Challenge Account-Philippines (MCA-P), is developing a module that will contain basic TIP concepts, relevant international and local standards and policies, as well as skills in integrating anti-TIP language, values, and concerns in the DPWH mandate.
The proposed module shall integrate anti-TIP in infrastructure programs, projects, and activities of the DPWH through its inclusion in the existing DPWH Gender and Development (GAD) Toolkit for Making Road Infrastructure Projects Gender Responsive.
In her report to Singson, DPWH Undersecretary and COGAD Chairperson Maria Catalina E. Cabral said the module would be launched by April 2016.
A focus group discussion with the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), members of the International Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT), and selected Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) working on issue of trafficking, was conducted for the crafting of the module.
This February, the anti-TIP module based on the focus group discussion with the relevant stakeholders shall be tested through Training of Trainers participated by DPWH regional directors, district engineers, project engineers, and GAD focal persons of DPWH offices nationwide.
Singson said that the module shall strengthen the DPWH drive towards a gender-responsive organization, with utmost consideration on the welfare of every individual affected by infrastructure projects.(PNA)