Duterte signs expanded anti-human trafficking law

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 29 2022 06:16 PM

MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte has approved amendments aimed at strengthening the anti-human trafficking law. 

Under the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2022 signed on June 23 and released to the media on Tuesday, authorities will get additional tools to pursue human traffickers, particularly those who use digital platforms.

The law is dedicated to Filipinos who are victims of trafficking abroad, in the offshore gaming industry, and underground online groups, the sponsor of the measure Sen. Risa Hontiveros earlier said. 

The measure makes internet intermediaries accountable. These include social media networks that "knowingly or by gross negligence allow their internet infrastructure to be used for the purpose of promoting trafficking in persons." 

Financial intermediaries, such as banks, credit card companies and money transfer centers, can also be held accountable if they knowingly or by gross negligence allowed their services, online platforms and applications to be used for promoting trafficking.

The measure prohibits the production, printing, and distribution of tampered or fake passports and birth certificates used in trafficking in persons. 

Law enforcers are directed to track and intercept any message by a suspected violator upon a written order from the Regional Trial Court (RTC).

However, an RTC order will no longer be required when the victim is a child and the offense involves the use of computer systems and digital platforms.

— Report from Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News

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