March 8th, 2017 | by Balaod Mindanaw
Considering its strategic geographic location, Cagayan de Oro City is said to be the gateway to Northern Mindanao. Not only is it considered a transit zone but it is also the economic center of the region. Such fact attracted many local and foreign tourists to travel in and out of the city. However, it also paved way to the upsurge of trafficking-in-persons incidents.
Today, we proudly march with each and everyone who strives to make change work for women through empowerment under the theme, “Wakasan Ang Karahasan Sa Mga Kababaihan,” especially that we see an increase of reported cases of human trafficking in various forms particularly victimizing innocent young girls and women taking advantage of our beloved city’s lenient travel policies.
Luckily, existing cases of pedophile foreigners were already filed and are currently being tried in the courts. The city government and other key stakeholders supporting the clamor for the protection of women actively participate in addressing this gruesome crime epidemic that struck our city through different kinds of interventions and mechanisms.
We, at BALAOD Mindanaw, help in our own little way through drafting new and/or amending policies; proposing said policies to the city government; instilling awareness about Anti-Human Trafficking through educational caravans in schools in one of our projects; monitoring of the mentioned TIP cases in our court to ensure that justice prevails; and all other related activities. But our organization can only do so much. We only belong to that small slice of the pie. Nevertheless, all of us here today complete the chart. So, we call on you to be more vigilant in spreading awareness on human trafficking. We must observe, monitor, act, and never stop. Be a woman!