On Friday, 10th of December, the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking commemorated the International Day Against Trafficking (IACAT) by announcing the winners of the first Break All Chains Awards.

The awarding event award, which was launched in commemoration of the International Day Against Trafficking (IDAT), recognizes the accomplishments and contributions of individuals and organizations in the fight to end human trafficking and modern slavery through active coalition building, effective delivery of support services to victims, successful law enforcement and prosecution, and progressive advocacy and awareness-raising through education and public policy intervention.

Department of Justice (DOJ) Undersecretary Emmeline Aglipay Villar emphasized the importance of this recognition. “Through this ceremony, we honor those unsung heroes who are truly worthy of our utmost respect and gratitude – those who, despite the pandemic and operational challenges, continue to dedicate their time and efforts to be someone who genuinely cares for the well-being and protection of trafficked victims and their families.”

The seven inaugural awardees were honored under six categories representing the diverse and multi-sectoral participation needed in the fight against human trafficking.

·       The City Government of Olongapo headed by Mayor Rolen C. Paulino Jr., Local Government Unit

·       Global Impact Philippines Foundation, Inc., Prevention and Awareness

·       The Protective Service Community Based Service Section (PSD-CBSS) of the DSWD Field Office XI, Protection and Social Reintegration

·       Police Coronel Maria Sheila Portento, Law Enforcement

·       Atty. Janet Francisco, head of the Anti-Human Trafficking Division of the NBI, Law Enforcement

·        The Regional Anti-Trafficking Task Force XI headed by Regional Prosecutor Janet Grace Dalsay-Fabrero, Prosecution  

·       She Works, Inc., Survivor’s Aid

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra praised the winners and those who are at the forefront of the campaign to combat human trafficking. He further expressed his gratitude to all the individuals that he had served with for the past four years. “It has been an honor to work with extraordinary people. You have shown that public service is indeed a life of service. I am especially indebted to the sacrifices of the hardworking individuals in IACAT who have acted with courage in the implementation of the anti-TIP law.”