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(NAR) VOL. 18 NO. 1/JANUARY - MARCH 2007

[ EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 548-A, February 09, 2007 ]


WHEREAS, Executive Order No. 548 was promulgated creating a Task Force Against Illegal Recruitment (TFAIR) under the supervision of the Commission on Filipino Overseas (CFO);

WHEREAS, to efficiently address the increasing reports and cases of human trafficking, it is necessary to enhance the coordination between and among agencies engaged in the human trafficking drive;

WHEREAS, pursuant to Republic Act No. 9208, otherwise known as the Anti-trafficking in Persons Act of 2003, the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) was established to coordinate, monitor and oversee the implementation of the programs against trafficking in persons;

WHEREAS, pursuant to the Omnibus Rules and Regulations Implementing Republic Act No. 8042, otherwise known as the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipino Act of 1995, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) shall continue to adopt policies and procedures, prepare and implementation programs toward the eradication of illegal recruitment activities, considering that the POEA has the available manpower, logistics, and expertise needed to effectively combat illegal recruitment;

WHEREAS, the Administrative Code of 1987 vests the President with the continuing authority to reorganize the administrative structure of the Office of the President;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GLORIA MACAPAGAL ARROYO, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by law, do hereby order:

SECTION 1. Amendment of Executive Order No. 548 and the redefinition of the mandate of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas - Executive Order No. 548 creating the TFAIR under the supervision of CFO is hereby amended. A Task Force against Human Trafficking (TFHT) is hereby created in the CFO, with the following functions:

Recommend to Inter-Agency Committee Against Trafficking (IACAT) policies, programs and services to enhance government initiatives against trafficking in persons;
Conduct surveillance and entrapment operations, in consultation and coordination with the IACAT established under Section 20 of RA 9208, of persons, firms or entities alleged or suspected to be engaged in trafficking and related activities, as defined in RA 9208;
Cause or direct the immediate apprehension, investigation and speedy prosecution of persons involved in, or of cases involving the trafficking in persons, and monitor progress of such cases;
Provide adequate legal, psycho-social and other forms of assistance to trafficked persons, subject to rules and regulations as may be implemented;
Consolidate various sources of data and statistics on trafficking, and establish a comprehensive databank for the effective monitoring, documentation and prosecution of trafficking incidents;
Conduct a community education and information campaign program against trafficking in persons;
Perform such other acts as may be necessary for the effective discharge of its functions and responsibilities herein conferred.

SECTION 2. Reiteration of the anti-illegal recruitment functions of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration - Pursuant to the mandate of the POEA under the Omnibus Rules and Regulation Implementing RA 8042, POEA shall intensify its anti-illegal recruitment campaign, most especially at the local level, in coordination with the local government units, law enforcement agencies, non-governmental organizations, and other concerned agencies.

SECTION 3. The IACAT as primary body in the implementation of RA 9208 - The IACAT shall remain to be the primary body to coordinate, monitor and oversee the implementation of RA 9208. The CFO shall complement the functions of the IACAT, and in addition, shall be specifically tasked to conduct special operations such as surveillance of persons and entities suspected to be engaged  in human trafficking.

SECTION 4. Composition - The TFHT shall be composed of the CFO as Chair, and a sufficient number of members, as may be determined by the Chairman, from the staff of the National Bureau of Investigation, the Philippine National Police, and other relevant government agencies who shall be detailed to the TFHT by their respective heads.

SECTION 5. Office - The main office of the CFO shall serve as the principal office of the TFHT.

SECTION 6. Assistance and Cooperation - The Department of Foreign Affairs, the Manila International Airport Authority, the National Bureau of Investigation, the Office of the State Prosecutor of the Department of Justice, the Philippine National Police, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, the Bureau of Immigration and all other government agencies are hereby directed to actively support the anti-human trafficking campaign, as well as coordinate and cooperate with the TFHT. For this purpose, the Chairman may call upon the heads of such government agencies for assistance, as may be necessary, from time to time.

SECTION 7. Funding - The budget of TFHT as well as for the anti-illegal recruitment functions of POEA shall be sourced from such available funds, as may be identified by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

SECTION 8. Effectivity - This Executive Order shall take effect upon its publication in a national newspaper of general circulation and shall remain in full force for a period of three (3) years.

SECTION 9.  Repeal - All orders, rules and regulations and issuances, or parts thereof, which are contrary or inconsistent with this Executive Order are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.

Adopted: 09 Feb. 2007

President of the Philippines

By the President:

Executive Secretary
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