The Balay Mindanaw Foundation, Inc.(BMFI), a non-profit Mindanao-based organization which aims at building peace and sustainable communities, eyed partnership with the Port Management Office of Misamis Oriental/Cagayan de Oro for the “Collaborative Action Against Trafficking” Project. This project aims to strengthen the capacity and protection mechanism of partner agencies, communities, and the civil society to protect children and young men and women against any form of abuse, neglect, exploitation, and violence.

Representatives of the BMFI made a courtesy call on 25 March 2019 with PMO Management. The BMFI proposed to further strengthen the mechanism of the PMO‘s Women and Children Protection Unit at the Port of Cagayan de Oro, that is in-charge for the handling and initial investigation of the suspected human trafficking case,  to intercept possible human trafficking through various activities: conduct of capacity building trainings for the port security personnel, seminar on case reporting and referral, seminar on proper handling of children victims, among others.

Furthermore, with the new and soon-to-be-operational Passenger Terminal Building (PTB), BMFI initially informed that they will also be providing the necessary equipment/facilities for the proposed holding area for intercepted trafficked victims and perpetrators inside the PTB.

Looking at the sustainability of the project and for inclusive action for this advocacy, Port Manager Butaslac recommended a coordination meeting with other maritime agencies and port stakeholders.—IMR Lam