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Apr 14, 2009

RA 9208, May 26, 2003

I. PURPOSE (Sec. 2)

To recognize the equal rights and inherent human dignity of women and men as enshrined in the United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights, United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, United Nations Convention on the Protection of Migrant Workers and their Families. United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime Including its Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children and all other relevant and universally accepted human rights instruments and other international conventions to which the Philippines is a signatory


TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS - refers to the recruitment, transportation, transfer or harboring, or receipt of persons with or without the victim's consent or knowledge, within or across national borders by means of threat or use of force, or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or of position, taking advantage of the vulnerability of the person, or, the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person for the purpose of exploitation which includes at a minimum, the exploitation or the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery, servitude or the removal or sale of organs.

The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of a child for the purpose of exploitation shall also be considered as "trafficking in persons" even if it does not involve any of the means set forth in the preceding paragraph.

FORCED LABOR OR SLAVERY - refer to the extraction of work or services from any person by means of enticement, violence, intimidation or threat, use of force or coercion, including deprivation of freedom, abuse of authority or moral ascendancy, debt-bondage or deception.

SEX TOURISM - refers to a program organized by travel and tourism-related establishments and individuals which consists of tourism packages or activities, utilizing and offering escort and sexual services as enticement for tourists. This includes sexual services and practices offered during rest and recreation periods for members of the military.

SEXUAL EXPLOITATION - refers to participation by a person in prostitution or the production of pornographic materials as a result of being subjected to a threat, deception, coercion, abduction, force, abuse of authority, debt bondage, fraud or through abuse of a victim's vulnerability.

DEBT BONDAGE - refers to the pledging by the debtor of his/her personal services or labor or those of a person under his/her control as security or payment for a debt, when the length and nature of services is not clearly defined or when the value of the services as reasonably assessed is not applied toward the liquidation of the debt.

PORNOGRAPHY - refers to any representation, through publication, exhibition, cinematography, indecent shows, information technology, or by whatever means, of a person engaged in real or simulated explicit sexual activities or any representation of the sexual parts of a person for primarily sexual purposes.


It shall be unlawful for any person, natural or juridical, to commit any of the following acts:

  1. To recruit, transport, transfer; harbor, provide, or receive a person by any means, including those done under the pretext of domestic or overseas employment or training or apprenticeship, for the purpose of prostitution, pornography, sexual exploitation, forced labor, slavery, involuntary servitude or debt bondage;
  2. To introduce or match for money, profit, or material, economic or other consideration, any person or, as provided for under Republic Act No. 6955, any Filipino woman to a foreign national, for marriage for the purpose of acquiring, buying, offering, selling or trading him/her to engage in prostitution, pornography, sexual exploitation, forced labor, slavery, involuntary servitude or debt bondage;
  3. To offer or contract marriage, real or simulated, for the purpose of acquiring, buying, offering, selling, or trading them to engage in prostitution, pornography, sexual exploitation, forced labor or slavery, involuntary servitude or debt bondage;
  4. To undertake or organize tours and travel plans consisting of tourism packages or activities for the purpose of utilizing and offering persons for prostitution, pornography or sexual exploitation;
  5. To maintain or hire a person to engage in prostitution or pornography;
  6. To adopt or facilitate the adoption of persons for the purpose of prostitution, pornography, sexual exploitation, forced labor, slavery, involuntary servitude or debt bondage;
  7. To recruit, hire, adopt, transport or abduct a person, by means of threat or use of force, fraud, deceit, violence, coercion, or intimidation for the purpose of removal or sale of organs of said person; and
  8. To recruit, transport or adopt a child to engage in armed activities in the Philippines or abroad.


The following acts which promote or facilitate trafficking in persons, shall be unlawful:

  1. To knowingly lease or sublease, use or allow to be used any house, building or establishment for the purpose of promoting trafficking in persons;
  2. To produce, print and issue or distribute unissued, tampered or fake counseling certificates, registration stickers and certificates of any government agency which issues these certificates and stickers as proof of compliance with government regulatory and pre-departure requirements for the purpose of promoting trafficking in persons;
  3. To advertise, publish, print, broadcast or distribute, or cause the advertisement, publication, printing, broadcasting or distribution by any means, including the use of information technology and the internet, of any brochure, flyer, or any propaganda material that promotes trafficking in persons;
  4. To assist in the conduct of misrepresentation or fraud for purposes of facilitating the acquisition of clearances and necessary exit documents from government agencies that are mandated to provide pre-departure registration and services for departing persons for the purpose of promoting trafficking in persons;
  5. To facilitate, assist or help in the exit and entry of persons from/to the country at international and local airports, territorial boundaries and seaports who are in possession of unissued, tampered or fraudulent travel documents for the purpose of promoting trafficking in persons;
  6. To confiscate, conceal, or destroy the passport, travel documents, or personal documents or belongings of trafficked persons in furtherance of trafficking or to prevent them from leaving the country or seeking redress from the government or appropriate agencies; and
  7. To knowingly benefit from, financial or otherwise, or make use of, the labor or services of a person held to a condition of involuntary servitude, forced labor, or slavery.


The following are considered as qualified trafficking:

  1. When the trafficked person is a child;
  2. When the adoption is effected through Republic Act No. 8043, otherwise known as the "Inter-Country Adoption Act of 1995" and said adoption is for the purpose of prostitution, pornography, sexual exploitation, forced labor, slavery, involuntary servitude or debt bondage;
  3. When the crime is committed by a syndicate, or in large scale. Trafficking is deemed committed by a syndicate if carried out by a group of three (3) or more persons conspiring or confederating with one another. It is deemed committed in large scale if committed against three (3) or more persons, individually or as a group;
  4. When the offender is an ascendant, parent, sibling, guardian or a person who exercises authority over the trafficked person or when the offense is committed by a public officer or employee;
  5. When the trafficked person is recruited to engage in prostitution with any member of the military or law enforcement agencies;
  6. When the offender is a member of the military or law enforcement agencies; and
  7. When by reason or on occasion of the act of trafficking in persons, the offended party dies, becomes insane, suffers mutilation or is afflicted with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) or the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).


Any person who buys or engages the services of trafficked persons for prostitution shall be penalized as follows:

  • First offense - six (6) months of community service as may be determined by the court and a fine of Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00); and
  • Second and subsequent offenses - imprisonment of one (1) year and a fine of One hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00).


Trafficking cases under this Act shall prescribe in ten (10) years: Provided, however, That trafficking cases committed by a syndicate or in a large scale as defined under Section 6 shall prescribe in twenty (20) years.

START: on the day on which the trafficked person is delivered or released
INTERRUPT: by filing of complaint or information
COMMENCE TO RUN AGAIN: when such proceedings terminate without the accused being convicted or acquitted or are unjustifiably stopped for any reason not imputable to the accused


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