TAGUM CITY — Alarmed by cases of women and children involved in commercial sex work, the Provincial Social Welfare Office (PSWDO) is set to establish the Provincial Inter-Agency Anti-Trafficking Council.
Guesting at the Kapihan sa Kapitolyo, PSWDO chief Arlene Semblante admitted that there is an increase of cases of children who have become victims of commercial sexual exploitation and in the cases of women engaged in sex work, especially now that some areas in Davao del Norte have become highly urbanized.
“We want to prevent women and children from engaging in this kind of work,” she said.
Semblante, however, did not have data at hand to cite how alarming was the cases of commercial sexual exploitation in the province but she said a number of reports had come out as recorded by her office.
While the Women and Children’s Desk of Police offices has become operational, Semblante is also calling on the gender and development networks in the province to get actively involved in addressing the concern.
“Kini aron mahatagan nato kini ug dakong pagtagad,” (So we could give utmost attention to this concern)” she said.
Basing on analysis of circumstances which have driven women and children into commercial sex work, Semblante said most of the factors were dysfunctional family relationships and poverty.
In the same venue, Semblante announced that the provincial government of Davao del Norte is running the Women Development Center, a place where abused women and children can take shelter. (PIA XI)