LINGAYEN -- The Provincial Employment and Services Office (Peso) here recorded a significant decrease in the number of illegal recruitment, including human trafficking, cases in the province of Pangasinan last year as compared to the statistics in previous year.
Peso chief Alex Ferrer said the human trafficking cases recorded in 2014 decreased by more than 50 percent as compared to the cases recorded in 2013.
In 2013, he said 74 illegal recruitment and human trafficking cases were reported. In 2014, the number was reduced to 40 cases.
"This is because of the intensive and intensified campaign of the Provincial Government upon the instruction of Governor Amado Espino Jr. against illegal recruiters and human traffickers," he said.
He noted the enhanced information dissemination campaign of their overseas Filipino workers (OFW) desk, which includes conduct of seminars, putting up of billboards, and other information drive activities to make people aware of the subject.
Also, the Peso, in coordination with the different local government units, has organized OFW family associations in all the 44 municipalities and four cities in a bid to further fight illegal recruitment and human trafficking.
The provincial OFW mapping project dubbed Bantay Barangay, Tulong Hanapbuhay has already gathered volunteers who will look after OFW families in their own barangays, Ferrer added.
He said their target is to make the province free of illegal recruitment and human trafficking by the end of year 2016.
Ferrer said appropriate cases against illegal recruiters and human trafficking act violators in the cases recorded last year are now pending before the Regional Trial Court.
Of the 40 cases recorded, two involved human trafficking. (PNA)