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Philippine News Digest 127

September 1, 2007 · 

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Contents:

  • BI moves anew vs human trafficking
  • Girlie shows, prostitution rampant in Subic
  • Green groups, bishops slam coal-fired power plant in Iloilo

BI moves anew vs human trafficking
The Manila Times
Thursday, August 30, 2007

Alarmed by a United Nations report that one in every four individuals trafficked across the globe is a Filipino, Immigration Commissioner Marcelino Libanan on Wednesday ordered an intensified drive against human trafficking in the country’s airports and subports.

“This is a very serious problem and we in the immigration bureau, being the country’s chief gatekeepers, should do our part in stopping this human trafficking menace,” Libanan said.

He said all immigration officers and agents at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and other ports of entry were instructed to be extra strict, but in a polite and careful manner, in screening departing passengers for clearance, particularly on women and children.

The BI chief said every Filipino has the right to travel but if one has questionable travel documents or is obviously the victim of trafficking he or she should be prevented from leaving.

He added that the BI will be fielding more immigration officers at the NAIA and other major ports in the coming weeks to boost the agency’s capability to monitor arriving and departing passengers.

Libanan also warned anew immigration personnel at the NAIA against escorting departing Filipinos through customs and immigration for a fee. The racket has victimized thousands of overseas Filipino workers who were able to leave without proper documentation.

“I have directed the members of our migration compliance and monitoring group at the NAIA to institute additional measures to curb human trafficking,” he said.

Since Libanan assumed office, more than 200 departing passengers were offloaded by members of the monitoring group. Most of the offloaded passengers were jobseekers disguised as tourists.

Human trafficking victims are spirited out of the country by providing them with spurious travel documents and circumventing the ban on the deployment of undocumented OFWs abroad.

A recent report cited figures from the International Justice Mission that about 500,000 Filipino children and women fall victim to human traffickers annually.

It said that only 109 cases were reported to the authorities from 2003 to 2005.

The IJM added that despite the passage of Republic Act 9208, or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003, only 10 people were arrested and convicted in the country.–William B. Depasupil

Girlie shows, prostitution rampant in Subic
The Manila Times
By Anthony Bayarong, Correspondent

SUBIC, ZAMBALES: Residents here are up in arms over the failure of the subic police and town officials to stop the growing popularity of girlie shows and prostitution in Barangay Calapandayan, Subic, Zambales. The clubs are located along the national highway and are a stone’s throw away from the Subic police office and municipal hall. A resident who asked not to be named said that club owners are o0enly promoting the shows, including girls taking a shower in front of an audience. “Sobrang Lantad na sila kung mag pashow, hindi na sila natatakot,” he added. The Manila Times called Plice Supt. Cesar Jocob, head of the Subic Police, but he was out of the office. Among the nightclubs reported offering bold shows are Kalesa, Club Ma-el, Hotline, Chicuitita, Churatcha, Pepekaka. The Zambales Criminal Investigation and Detection Team based in Barangay Barretto, Olongapo City, has also been reported to shy away from the clubs.

Green groups, bishops slam coal-fired power plant in Iloilo
By Nestor P. Burgos Jr.
Visayas Bureau, Inquirer,net
Last updated 02:44pm (Mla time) 09/05/2007

ILOILO CITY, Philippines — Environmental groups and the Catholic church are opposing a plan to build a coal-fired power plant in Iloilo City, warning of health and pollution risks.

The groups said the proposal to build a 100-megawatt coal plant in La Paz District should be shelved and replaced by projects tapping renewable sources of energy.

Global Business Power Corp. (GBPC) and Panay Power Corp. (PPC) want to construct the coal plant at the PPC plant site in Barangay (village) Ingore here. The project is among those being considered to boost the energy baseload capacity of Iloilo City and Panay Island.

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas said the city needs a stable supply of energy especially with the increasing power demand resulting from infrastructure and development projects.

The city has been suffering from intermittent power interruptions and investors have repeatedly pointed out that the city’s unstable power supply remains a weak point in efforts to attract investments.

Electric supply to the city’s 180 barangay is solely provided by PPC and distributed by the Panay Electric Company (Peco). – End –

updated September 06, 2007

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