Philippines to lose U.S. financial support against human trafficking

22:31, July 28, 2010      

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The Philippine government is running the risk of losing the U.S. government's financial support worth 250 million U.S. dollars to sustain the battle against human trafficking, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima disclosed Wednesday.

In an interview with reporters, de Lima said that she is now in talks with Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima and Budget Secretary Florencio Abad to allocate at least 10 million pesos (216,450 U.S. dollars) for the funding of the interagency council against trafficking (IACAT), an agency that has been in existence since 2003 but has never been given even a single centavo as budget.

De Lima said that budget allocation for IACAT is necessary if only to show the U.S. government that it is serious in the fight against human trafficking.

The United States recently placed the Philippines in the Tier 2 watch list, precariously close to falling to the Tier 3 category which lumps countries that fail to meet the minimum standards of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.

Source: Xinhua


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