Eye on POGOs urged to halt sex traffic

Senator Risa Hontiveros has filed a bill that would monitor the activities of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators and other gaming and amusement venues in a bid to end sex trafficking.

Hontiveros’ measure, Senate Bill 1929, would include responsibilities for the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation to address policy gaps in the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003.

The proposed update comes after the senator led a series of committee investigations that revealed how Chinese women were being trafficked into the Philippines to serve Chinese POGO employees.

Hontiveros also said the bill would stop convicted alien sex offenders from entering the country, adding the Department of Foreign Affairs, in coordination with Immigration and the Department of Justice, must ensure that these sex offenders should not be able to set foot in the Philippines.

Hontiveros, who filed the bill in time for the International Day of the Elimination of Violence Against Women, says SB 1929 is proof that legislation must be updated to fit the times. Macon Ramos-Araneta

Among the new features of SB 1929 is the recognition of the use of online and digital platforms for human trafficking.

That being the case, the bill imposes penalties on private facilities such as internet service providers, financial intermediaries, transport services including their online applications that knowingly allow the use of their facilities, and whether digital or physical for purposes of trafficking.

Topics: Senator Risa Hontiveros , Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators , POGOs , sex trafficking , Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003
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