MANILA -- Aimed at putting a stop to human trafficking, a lawmaker filed a measure, which seeks the imposition of stiffer penalties for government officials to be proven involved in trafficking of persons.

Representative Susan Yap (second district, Tarlac) filed House Bill 1705 in line with recent reports that the US State Department pronounced the country as remaining in Tier 2 watch list of countries whose governments have failed to improve efforts against human trafficking.

Specifically, Yap seeks to increase jail time from 20 to 25 years in cases where a government employee would be committing acts of trafficking in persons such as recruitment, transport, harboring, or sale of persons, within or across national borders, for the purpose slavery-like practices or organ removal and sale.

Stiffer penalties are also proposed for government officials who shall commit acts that promote trafficking like assistance in the conduct of misrepresentation or fraud in acquiring clearances and necessary exit documents from government agencies.

“Because of the proposed stiffer penalties, the concerned public officials and employees would be wary and enjoin themselves from being actively involved and complicit in human trafficking,” said Yap. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)