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Saturday, July 20, 2019

Mactan airport, IACAT ink deal to fight vs human trafficking

THE Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) to strengthen their partnership in running after human traffickers Tuesday afternoon.

The MOA signing was held Tuesday, December 12, in line with celebration of the International Day Against Trafficking today.

Cebu City Prosecutor Liceria Rabillas, head of the IACAT-MCIA Task Force, said MCIAA has been a partner of IACAT since 2010. The MOA formalized the partnership.

Rabillas signed the MOA together with MCIAA general manager Steve Dicdican at the Waterfront Airport Hotel and Casino Mactan.

Through the MOA, Rabillas said the partnership between the two agencies will continue even if there will be new officials in the MCIAA AND IACAT in the future.

MCIA Task Force was established pursuant to the Department of Justice Order 773 and 524 last Sept. 10, 2012 and June 3, 2015, respectively, to investigate and prosecute human trafficking cases in Region 7.

“International airports are seen as the last staging area for trafficking at source and transit areas prior to final destination. Reports indicate that airports are still the preferred exit point for trafficking in persons. The rise of budget airlines and promo fares also contribute to the thriving of international trafficking in persons,” a part of the MOA read.

Based on the MOA, among of the duties of the MCIAA are to identify and pinpoint areas at the airport where trafficking in persons activities may take place and strengthen security in these areas; regulate the issuance of airport access passes; establish security checkpoints in areas identified as critical areas where trafficking in persons activities may occur; and assist in the campaign against human trafficking.

The IACAT-MCIA Task Force will do surveillance, apprehension, investigation of suspected traffickers; intensify its intelligence efforts; and ensure the prosecution of persons accused of human trafficking, among others.

Dicdican assured that MCIAA will provide a temporary shelter for the illegally recruited persons and a place for the task force within the airport. (FMG)

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