Bill tightens screws on human trafficking

A BILL has been filed in the Senate to amend the definition of human trafficking to include recruitment committed by a syndicate of two.

Sen. Robinhood “Robin” Padilla filed Senate Bill 2216 aiming to tighten the screws against illegal recruitment syndicates to protect overseas Filipino workers.

Padilla’s bill seeks to amend Article 38 (b) of Presidential Decree 442 (Labor Code of the Philippines) and Section 6 of Republic Act 8042, the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995.

He said the “current definition of illegal recruitment fails to capture the severity of the crime when committed by syndicates and on a large scale.”

In his bill, Padilla sought to define illegal recruitment committed by a syndicate of two — instead of the current three — persons conspiring to carry out the crime.

“The proposed amendments expand the definition to include illegal recruitment committed by a group of two or more persons conspiring and/or confederating with one another in carrying out any unlawful or illegal transaction, enterprise or scheme, instead of the original stringent three-person requirement,” said the senator in his bill.

Should the bill become law, Padilla said it would represent a significant step towards safer, fairer, and more ethical recruitment practices by protecting Filipino workers against illegal recruitment.

Padilla hopes the passage of the bill will “help strengthen the protection of Filipino workers, prevent economic sabotage, and promote the country’s economic development.”

“It affirms our unwavering commitment to safeguard the rights and welfare of our workers, making our legal frameworks adapt and respond to the changing landscape of labor migration,” he said. (PR)