US Ambassador to the Philippines Francis Ricciardone visited the Bahay Silangan sa Daungan (Port Halfway House) at the Manila Harbor last December 9, 2003. The US Ambassador hailed the cooperation of partners in the port to help survivors of trafficking fight for a new life as “a celebration of love, hope and courage.”
In many sea ports in the Philippines, children arrive in ships coming from other Filipino ports, such as Mindanao and Visayas. Their destination is businesses – many of them sweatshops or brothels – in Manila employing child laborers, but many times keeping them in slave-like situations and not paying them for their labor. The Visayan Forum Foundation, in cooperation with the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) and other government agencies, established a number of “halfway houses” or “shelters” right at the port in order to offer services to victims of trafficking coming off of the boats.
Since August 2000, the organization has been operating a halfway house at the Manila harbor, providing 24 hour services for trafficking victims. There is also a similar halfway house in Davao City.
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