In line with the celebration of National Women’s Month, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte approved an Ordinance establishing a council that will oversee the implementation of Republic Act 10364 or the Expanded Anti- Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012.

Belmonte signed Ordinance No. 2999 S-2020, or the Quezon City Anti-Trafficking in Persons Ordinance Act, which seeks to address the problem of trafficking in persons, especially women and children, at the local level through policies and programs to prevent, protect and rehabilitate trafficked persons.

The Ordinance was introduced by Councilors Lena Marie Juico, Shaira Liban, Peachy de Leon, Marra Suntay, Diorella Maria Sotto-Antonio, Eden Delilah Medina, Donato Matias and Freddy Roxas.

“Sa pagdiriwang natin ng Buwan ng Kababaihan, mahalagang mapagtuunan natin ng pansin ang kanilang kapakanan, kalusugan at kaligtasan,” said Belmonte.

“Through this, we hope to strengthen the city government’s various efforts to combat trafficking in persons, which victimizes mostly women, and to provide needed assistance to the victims,” she added.

The Ordinance mandates the creation of the Quezon City Council on Anti-Trafficking (QCCAT), which will serve as the primary arm of the local government to ensure that it is properly implemented, along with RA 10364.

The QCCAT is composed of the City Mayor as chairperson, Vice Mayor as co-chairperson and the head of the Social Services Development Department (SSDD) as vice chairperson.

The chairpersons of the Committees on Women, Family Relations and Gender Equality, Children’s Affairs, Social Services and Public Order and Safety are included as members along with the presidents of the Liga ng mga Barangay and QC Pederasyon ng Sangguniang Kabataan.

The members also include the heads of the City Planning and Development Office, Business Permits and Licensing Department, Department of Public Order and Safety, Public Employment Services Office, Barangay and Community Relations Department, City Legal Department, Quezon City Health Department, Quezon City Protection Center, Gender and Development TWG Office, Education Affairs Unit and City Tourism Department.

The superintendent of the Schools Division Office, district director of the Quezon City Police District, and a representative each from accredited women, children and OFW non-government organizations will also serve as members.

They are tasked to convene regularly every quarter, or frequently as deemed necessary, to work on the formulation of a comprehensive and integrated program to prevent and suppress trafficking in persons.

The Council is also mandated to promulgate rules and regulations as may be necessary for the effective implementation of the anti-trafficking law, among other duties and responsibilities.

A QC Joint Task Force Against Trafficking in Persons (QJTFATP) will be established to coordinate all efforts in the conduct of surveillance, investigation and rescue operations of trafficking cases.

It will also closely collaborate with the QCCAT in the formulation of plans and programs for the prevention and/or reduction of trafficking in persons.