Press Release
May 21, 2008

Sen. Estrada bares increasing cases of human trafficking
of Pinoys in Singapore

Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada lamented that the worsening poverty in the country have forced desperate unemployed workers to seek employment abroad and become victims to human trafficking syndicates.

Estrada, concurrent chairman of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development and of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on Labor and Employment, said the Philippine Embassy in Singapore had recently reported that Filipino women victimized by human-trafficking gangs have increased by 70 percent last year compared to the 2006 figures.

In a report submitted to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the embassy said that from the 125 cases of human trafficking in Singapore in 2006, it increased to 212 in 2007.

There were only 59 cases of Filipino human trafficking in 2005.

Reports said that 57 or 27 percent of the 212 Filipina victims of human trafficking admitted to have engaged in prostitution.

Estrada said international syndicates have been preying on desperate workers who are trying to get employment abroad.

He said that poverty is worsening in the country and more unemployed workers are taking the risk to get work in other countries.

"Kapit na sa patalim ang karamihan sa ating mga kababayan na walang trabaho, kaya marami naman ang nabibiktima ng mga sindikato ng illegal recruiters," Estrada said.

He said the administration should immediately implement countermeasures to protect overseas Filipino workers from human trafficking syndicates and also create more jobs in the country.

"The government should generate more jobs in the country to stop workers from seeking employment abroad," Estrada added.

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