NCRFW lauds Cabral on drive vs fake marriages

The National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW) today lauded Secretary Esperanza Cabral of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for her firm action against foreigners engaged in trafficking of Filipino women in the pretext of marrying them.

NCRFW Chairperson Myrna T. Yao said that it is about time that Republic Act No. 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003 should be strictly implemented and those found violating them, including foreigners, should be punished accordingly.

Yao was reacting to a report that two months ago, a Saudi national went to the National Kidney Institute in Quezon City to schedule a kidney transplant and the supposed donor was his new Filipino wife.

According to Secretary Cabral the NKI realized that it was a sham marriage and the application for kidney transplant was disapproved. “Clearly it was not a donation of a living donor in the form that originally contemplated but was an organ sale,” Cabral said.

Chair Yao agreed with the observation of Secretary Cabral that following the ban on organ transplants from Filipinos to foreigners as directed by President Macapagal-Arroyo, there has been a noticeable increase in fake marriages.

The NCRFW head lamented that the Philippines has now become a “notorious transplant tourism destination.”

According to the Philippine Society of Nephrology (PSN), in 2007, there were more foreigners than Filipinos who underwent kidney transplant.

Two years earlier, the World Health Organization (WHO) listed the Philippines as one of the top five organ-trafficking “hot spots” in the world.

Chair Yao said that as a member of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT), the NCRFW has undertaken several measures to speed up the implementation of the RA 9208. The IACAT is chaired by the Department of Justice and co-chaired by the DSWD.

The NCRFW, Chair Yao said, has also helped in the formulation of the National Strategic Action Plan Against Trafficking (2004-2010) that serves as a roadmap in undertaking anti-trafficking activities in three major areas, such as prevention, protection, and recovery and reintegration.