Implementation of the Anti-Human Trafficking Law in Cebu City, Philippines


  • Ferdinand T. Abocejo Cebu Normal University
  • Fernando K. Gubalane


Anti-human trafficking, trafficked victim, social stratification theory


This study investigated the extent of implementation of the “Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act” under the Philippine Republic Act 9208 in Cebu City during the period of 2010-2011. The paper analyzed the various advocacy campaigns and rescue operations done by government agencies to fight human trafficking, the complaints filed by the various law enforcement agencies, and the programs conducted to mainstream victims into the community. The study anchored its framework on the social stratification theory of Weber (1978) and on RA9208 as its legal basis. It employed a descriptive qualitative research design using secondary data, online, refereed journals, and key informants. Results indicate that the government finds it difficult to crack down on human trafficking activities because of the “on-and-off” business operations of entertainment establishments whose customers include military men, politicians, and government officials. Apparently, most of the victims were women and minors who consensually involved themselves with consent because of monetary payments for rendering illicit services; victims are often poor, come from broken homes and large families, and they are compelled to work for economic and survival reasons. More often, trafficked victims execute an “Affidavit of Desistance” in exchange for money even after a complaint has been filed in court. Assessment of the various advocacy campaigns and implementations of anti human trafficking initiatives indicates the need for cooperation and strong support from the various government mandated agencies. Hence, efforts for combating human trafficking in Cebu City remains inadequate due to the lack of full coordination and overlapping of functions among implementing agencies.

Author Biographies

  • Ferdinand T. Abocejo, Cebu Normal University

    PhD Student
    University Research Specialist, Center for Research and Development (CRD)
    Cebu Normal University (CNU), Osmeña Boulevard
    Cebu City, Philippines

  • Fernando K. Gubalane

    Regional Prosecutor, Central Visayas Region
    Department of Justice, Region VII
    Cebu City, Philippines




How to Cite

Implementation of the Anti-Human Trafficking Law in Cebu City, Philippines. (2013). International Forum Journal, 16(1), 36-48.

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