THE Davao City Police Office (DCPO) is monitoring lodging houses and motels to ensure that minors are not checking in there.

DCPO spokesperson Police Senior Inspector Catherine dela Rey said that their monitoring will not only be conducted on Valentine’s Day but year round.

"Nakahibalo na daan atong mga establishments [lodging houses, motels] nga bawal gyud sila magpasulod og mga minors kay naa gyud ni sa atong balaod (Lodging houses and motel owners already know that they are prohibited from letting minors enter their establishment according to law)," dela Rey said. Still, minors manage to check in.

According to Dela Rey, an establishment found breaking this rule under Republic Act 9208, also known as the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003, can be charged while the one caught bringing the minor in the prohibited place can also be charged for violation of Republic Act 7610 otherwise known as the Child Abuse Law.

"Atoa man gyud ning i-rescue ug atong makasuhan ang establishment ug ang nagdala sa minor (We will rescue the minors and sue the establishment and the person who brought the minor)," dela Rey said.

The Women and Children's Protection Desk (WCPD) of DCPO is also ready to rescue minors should they receive any call for assistance.

Based on the records of the WCPD last year, 17 victims of human trafficking were rescued by the police after monitoring lodging houses and motels before the victims were transported to other areas. (Jeepy P. Compio)