PPA's Halfway Houses (Bahay Silungan sa Daungan)
Philippine Ports Authority (Gender and Development Focal Point)

The Problem

Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), through its Gender and Development
Focal Point (GAD-FP), established the halfway house at the port of North
Harbor in July 2001 as part of its corporate social responsibility
program in living up to its social commitment and responsibility of
caring for the people who traverse through its ports. Initially, the
Port Halfway House or locally known as Bahay Silungan sa Daungan (BSD)
was primarily developed to provide temporary shelter to the stranded
passengers particularly women and children. Most of the stranded
passengers were new to the big city and thus did not know what to do and
where to go. As this has become a recurring situation, the new Port
Halfway House became busy and almost always occupied as stranded
passengers were allowed to stay for at least (3) days at the shelter
while waiting to be reunited with their families, relatives or
employers, as the case may be. They were provided food, good sleeping
quarters and other amenities and comforts of “a home away from home”.
Interviews with the stranded passengers, which were done as part of
operating procedures, however, inadvertently revealed a more appalling
situation behind their stories – that of human trafficking.
Immediately, the PPA responded by transforming the BSD from its original
function as a halfway house for stranded passengers into a shelter for
trafficked women and children.

Solution and Key Benefits

 What is the initiative about? (the solution)
initiative focuses on the Anti-Trafficking of Women and Children
efforts of the PPA GAD-FP and the management and operation of the Bahay
Silungan sa Daungan (BSD) as a safe haven for victims of trafficking.
The PPA GAD works under Section 9 paragraph g. Rule IV of the
implementing rules and regulations of RA 7192 (Women in Development and
Nation Building Act) for the operation of its BSD that states that the
GAD-FP shall ensure that their respective agencies have strong linkages
and partnership with Non-Government Organizations/Private Organizations
(NGOs/Pos) who have integrated gender concerns in their respective
institutions. Republic Act No. 9208, the Anti-trafficking in Persons Act
of 2003, defines the crime of trafficking in persons and imposes
serious penalties for violators. The law governs the BSD’s protective,
preventive and prosecution operation and supports the United Nation’s
Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, which
the Philippines ratified. Even before the passage of this law, PPA was
already into anti-trafficking activities. Initially, PPA’s own port
police conducted regular pier inspection, checking and surveillance of
suspicious activities inside the port. This led to a few documented
cases of botched trafficking. The victims were brought to the Halfway
House for screening and later on turned over to the Department of Social
Welfare and Development (DSWD) for processing. These trafficked
individuals were provided with the necessary assistance in terms of
counselling and repatriation to their families. Cases were filed in
courts by the PPA port police against the persons involved in human
trafficking. With the increasing passenger traffic in the ports, the
task of making the ports safe and crime-free became a mammoth
responsibility. Being a government institution mandated not for social
work but for port development and management, the PPA had to a find a
partner with the expertise to provide the necessary assistance to
victims of trafficking through the port halfway houses. After a
thorough screening of possible partner-NGO, the PPA chose the Visayan
Forum Foundation, Inc. (VFFI) for its laudable track record in
child-welfare advocacies, community based programs and capacity building
for migrants-at-risk. On 11 July 2001, PPA forged a 5-year memorandum
of agreement (MOA) with VFFI for the latter to manage and operate the
BSD which was later extended to another ten (10) years. As an off-shoot
of this partnership, what at first was just a temporary shelter for
stranded passengers evolved into a 24-hour safety and holding area for
trafficked persons providing necessary services such as help desk,
travel assistance, board and lodging, quick case referrals and legal
services and counselling. As passenger volume in the port of Manila and
in other ports increased over years, so too did the incidence of human
trafficking. A more concerted and holistic approach was needed which
led to the creation of the Inter-Agency Anti-Trafficking Task Force
directly responsible for the interception, investigation, prosecution
and rescue of about 74,131 potential and trafficked victims in the port
of Manila and other ports since July 2001 up to March 2011.

Actors and Stakeholders

 Who proposed the solution, who implemented it and who were the stakeholders?
establishment of the Halfway Houses (Bahay Silungan sa Daungan) was
conceived by the officers and members of the PPA Gender and Development
Focal Point in 1998 when they organized and attended the 1st Train the
Trainers Program on Gender and Development facilitated by Ms. Remedios
Rikken of the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW).
With the support of the PPA management, the PPA through its GAD-FP has
to date established eight (8) Halfway Houses in the ports of North and
South Harbor-Manila Batangas; Matnog, Sorsogon; Sasa, Davao; Iloilo;
Lipata, Surigao and Zamboanga. PPA’s partnership with the Visayan Forum
Foundation, Inc. (VFFI) has transformed these ports from being sending,
transit and destination points of traffickers into a catchment network
against heartless criminals and havens for victims. But this was not
possible without the partnership blossoming into a collaboration amongst
stakeholders, using the port halfway houses as rallying points. The
PPA and VFFPI collaborated with various stakeholders in the port and
maritime industries, the national and local government units, NGOs and
other civic-minded organizations. The informal alliance, whose nucleus
is the halfway house, became the forerunner of the Inter-agency
Anti-Trafficking Task Force at the ports mandated by the
Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003. The collaboration became a
unique tripartite alliance of government, the private sector and NGOs
and has been cited as a best international practice in the campaign
against human trafficking for four consecutive years by the US State
Department in its Annual Trafficking Report. The Anti-Trafficking Task
Force worked on a framework for its anti-trafficking programs and
activities. Notably, they have identified the group’s mission and goals
and the flow of specific interventions covering four key areas: (1)
Prevention, (2) Protection, (3) Prosecution and (4) Healing and

(a) Strategies

 Describe how and when the initiative was implemented by answering these questions
 a.      What were the strategies used to implement the initiative? In no more than 500 words, provide a summary of the main objectives and strategies of the initiative, how they were established and by whom.
main objective of the initiative is the war against human trafficking.
According to the International Labor Organization (ILO) 2.5 million
victims are trafficked around the world with most of them coming from
Asia and Pacific. More than 80% of these victims are believed to be
women and girls, and that 70% were forced into sexual servitude. As
perpetrators work underground, it is estimated that thousands of victims
are still undocumented. Trafficking of human beings is now the third
largest source of money for organized crime, eclipsed only by the
illegal drug and arm trades with over 10 billion US dollars of earnings
every year. While there are no exact data on the magnitude of human
trafficking in the Philippines, many agree that it has for some years
now, become a lucrative underground economy. In fact, many recruitment
agencies have focused on women and children for domestic employment
because they are an easy prey. Thousands of these women and children
leave their poor rural homes only to fall victim to false promises of
legitimate and safe jobs and end up in exploitative labor or in
prostitution. With traffickers using shipping as the major mode of
transport for their victims, the Philippine ports have become sending,
transit and destination points of this illegal activity. As a result,
it gradually became clear to PPA that needed interventions must be put
in place in its ports to help address the problem.

The PPA’s Port Police assigned at the frontline have long been involved
in the interception of potential victims of trafficking. Not long
after, the PPA management, acting on the request of the Gender and
Development Focal Point for the provision of a temporary shelter for
women and passengers stranded in the port of Manila, established the
first PPA Halfway House in the North Harbor, which later became known as
the Bahay Silungan sa Daungan (BSD). To optimize its utilization and
make it more responsive to the needs of passengers in distress, PPA
entered into an agreement with the Visayan Forum Foundation, Inc. for
the management and operation of the facility. As passenger volume in the
port of Manila increased, so too did the incidence of human
trafficking. The Anti-Trafficking Joint Task Force at the Ports was
created in 2002 for a more concerted and holistic approach to the
problem. The Task Force composed of law enforcement agencies such as
the PNP-maritime police, Philippine Coast Guard, Bureau of Immigration,
National Bureau of Investigation, Department of Justice, Department of
Labor and Employment, Commission on Human Rights, Local Government
Units, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Non-Government
Organizations and other partners from the shipping lines and other civic
groups like the Integrated Bar of the Philippines is directly
responsible for the interception, investigation, prosecution and rescue
of potential and trafficked victims in the port of Manila and other
ports. To date, PPA has constructed eight (8) BSDs in the ports of
Manila, Davao, Batangas, Legazpi, Davao, Iloilo, Surigao and Zamboanga.

(b) Implementation

 b.      What were the key development and implementation steps and the chronology? No more than 500 words
key development and implementation steps were:

1). Creation of the PPA GAD-FP – Executive Order No. 348 and Republic
Act No. 7192 direct all government agencies to set up GAD-FPs. On 13
September 1994 through PPA Special Order No. 510-94 the PPA GAD was
established and headed by PPA Training Center Manager, Ms. Clemencia
Tottoc. In 1997, said S.O. was amended reconstituting the GAD-FP with
Ms. Ma. Elena J. Moreno as Chairperson. The PPA HO GAD FP was tasked to
catalyze, coordinate, provide direction to and serve as technical
adviser on gender and development efforts of the PPA. Later, the
composition included the Field Offices GAD FPs and Technical Working
Groups that are responsible for the gender and development concerns in
the ports. The GAD FP was then headed by AGM for Finance and
Administration, Aida P. Dizon. In 2004, another reconstitution was
issued indicating TWGs on Finance/Logistics, Monitoring, Evaluation and
Liaising, Research/Data Management, Information and Communication,
Administrative Support and Secretariat. Latest issuances on GAD
reconstituted the PPA Head Office GAD FP with the General Manager as
Chairperson and the four (4) AGMs as Vice-Chairpersons. The PPA GAD FP
holds its annual planning workshop to assess the past performance and
present the gender programs for the next three (3) years.

2). Construction of the 1st Half-way House – As one of the centrepiece
projects of the GAD-FP, the first Bahay Silungan sa Daungan was
constructed in North Harbor, Manila in 2001. Initially it catered to
stranded passengers especially women and children who were allowed to
stay for at least 3 days. The BSD became an instant success as a form
of intervention providing the facilities and comforts of a place one can
call home, however temporary it may be.

3).Forging of a 5-year Memorandum of Agreement with a partner NGO –
Mandated not for social work but for port development and management,
PPA had to find a partner who has the expertise to manage and operate
the BSD. The Visayan Forum Foundation Inc. (VFFI) was selected for its
laudable track record in child welfare advocacies, community-based
programs and capacity building for migrants-at-risk. In 2001, PPA
entered into a 5 year Memorandum of Agreement for VFFI to man the BSD
and provide 24-hour service to trafficked women and children. The
partnership was extended for another five years in 2006 and again
another five years last July 2011.

4) Creation of an Anti-Trafficking Task Force in the Ports – Republic
Act 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003 paved the way
for the creation of the Inter-agency Anti-Trafficking Task Force in the
ports that worked on a framework for its anti-trafficking programs and
activities covering four areas: prevention, protection, prosecution and
healing and reintegration.

5) Duplication of the BSD in other ports – Seven other BSDs were
constructed in Manila South Harbor, Batangas, Davao, Legazpi, Iloilo,
Surigao and Zamboanga.

6) Regular monitoring of Anti-Trafficking activities – Statistical
reports are prepared by VFFI and regular meetings held to report
anti-trafficking activities.

(c) Overcoming Obstacles

 c.      What were the main obstacles encountered? How were they overcome? No more than 500 words
first main obstacle was the difficulty in manning and operating the
BSDs as this was not part of the regular program of PPA and it is not
mandated to do so. The BSDs were originally manned by volunteers from
the GAD-FPs. But this was overcome when PPA entered into a Memorandum
of Agreement with the NGO – Visayan Forum Foundation Inc. (VFFI). VFFI,
as the authorized BSD operator has the following responsibilities: 1)
management and operation of the BSD at its own exclusive account; 2)
daily maintenance and upkeep of the BSD; enforcement and implementation
of the rules and regulations on the operations of the BSD; liaising and
networking with government agencies concerned and NGOs to achieve the
objectives of the BSD; maintenance of record of all cases and welfare
activities handled; and submission of quarterly operational update to

Another obstacle was in the area of prosecution – the key to putting an
end to traffickers’ illegal activities as, considering the complexity of
prosecuting organized crimes, the process is long-winding and arduous.
The creation of the Interagency Committee on Anti-Trafficking (IACAT)
spearheaded by the Department of Justice and the Port Interagency
Anti-Trafficking Task Force has more or less overcome the problem. Task
force law enforcers, social workers and lawyers help gather evidence,
file report and the consequent legal case. To support the victims
during the trial period, the task force accompanies them to the court
and involves their families. Additionally, the protection of witnesses
thru the government’s “Witness Protection Program” is sought and
provided for.

(d) Use of Resources

 d.      What resources were used for the initiative and what were its key benefits? In no more than 500 words, specify what were the financial, technical and human resources’ costs associated with this initiative. Describe how resources were mobilized
following resources and concomitant costs were utilized for the

1.) Financial Resources – Funds for the construction of the Half-way
Houses (BSDs) and accompanying equipment, fixtures and amenities
amounting to approximately Twenty five million pesos (P25,000,000.00)
were taken from the corporate funds of the PPA through its Gender and
Development program funds. Executive Order No.273 directs all
government agencies, departments, bureaus, offices and instrumentalities
including government-owned and controlled corporations, at the national
and local levels, to incorporate GAD concerns in their annual budget
proposals and work and financial plans. Likewise, the 1999 General
Appropriations Act authorizes government agencies to utilize at least
five percent (5%) of its total budget appropriation for gender and
development projects to address gender issues.
2.) Technical and Human Resources – Since gender programs are
mainstreamed in the regular programs of the different Responsibility
Centers in PPA, the initiative utilizes not only the PPA GAD-FP but also
all the units of PPA depending on the nature of their functions.
Infrastructure projects, for example, are handled by the Engineering
Responsibility Centers; seminars and orientation programs by the Human
Resource Management Department and the PPA Training Center; security and
safety by the Port Police Department; research and management
information by the Management and Information Services Department;
administrative matters by the Administrative Services Department and the
like. The cost associated with the gender concern such as trafficking
of women and children are built into their respective Responsibility
Center budget.

Sustainability and Transferability

  Is the initiative sustainable and transferable?
it is sustainable and transferable. It is sustainable because, as
mentioned in 8d, this gender concern and project has been mainstreamed
to the different Responsibility Centers, has the support not only of PPA
management but also of other government agencies, private and
non-government organizations. The collaboration forged by PPA and VFFI
with various stakeholders in the port and maritime industries, the
national and local government unit and other civic-minded organizations
has become a unique tripartite alliance of government, the private
sector and NGOs and has been cited as a best international practice in
the campaign against human trafficking.

The initiative is being sustained through the PPA-Gender and Development
Focal Points and the Inter-Agency Anti-Trafficking Task Force and the
collaboration with the
Visayan Forum Foundation Inc., civic organizations, private and other
government agencies. PPA, being an attached agency of the Department of
Transportation and Communications, disseminates its GAD annual
accomplishments and 3-year development plans and programs to the members
of the DOTC GAD TWG composed of officers and members of various
government agencies from the land, water and air sectors. The
accomplishments and plans always included the construction, management
and operation of the BSDs. Because of this the initiative has been
replicated by the air sector and the land sector also plans to do so.
During the Women’s Month celebration every March of the year, the PPA is
almost always asked to share its experiences on the war against human
trafficking in symposia or conferences

The initiative is transferable as proven by the “Bahay Silungan sa
Paliparan (BSP)” (Shelter at the Airport) which was inaugurated on
October 7, 2008 for victims and would-be victims of human trafficking
and is a similar initiative by the Manila International Airport
Authority (MIAA). Then MIAA General Manager Alfonso Cusi said that the
BSP is a statement of the government’s commitment to curb human
trafficking which continues to prey on unsuspecting and trusting
Filipinos, especially women and children. The BSP is located along Ninoy
Aquino Avenue and Chapel Road in Paranaque City. It is also a
collaborative effort of MIAA with the non-government group Visayan Forum
Foundation Inc.

The existence of BSD has been acclaimed as the first of its kind
anywhere and the PPA project has been a showcase not only in the
Philippines but also internationally through visits from delegates of
other countries as well as presentation in different fora on
anti-trafficking and other women and children related issues. The BSD
has been featured in CNN, Eyewitness on GMA 7, The Morning Show on
Channel 4 and other radio/TV programs and publications (Manila Bulletin,
Manila Times and Business Mirror). It has been presented in various
conferences such as: World Conference on Women’s Shelters at Edmonton,
Alberta, Canada where the former GAD Chairperson, Ms. Aida P. Dizon,
presented “Framework for Building Collaborative Responses to
Trafficking” which discussed the PPA’s experience in the fight against
human trafficking at the ports and highlighted the BSD operations.
Prominent personalities have visited the BSDs and lauded its

Lessons Learned

 What are the impact of your initiative and the lessons learned?
operation of the BSDs has become the catalyst for the following:

a) Policy Formulation – The experiences of the BSD and the studies and
researches on its approaches were used in formulating and in lobbying
for the passage of the Anti-Trafficking Law of 2003 (RA 9208) and the
new Anti-Child Labor Law of 2004 (9231). It has served as pilot area
for new gender-responsive approaches that are incorporated in
legislations and their implementing laws.
b) Institution Building – An important component of BSD and the program
is the continuous capacity-building for partner NGOs and government
agencies to enable them to develop effective gender-fair strategies for
handling victims and potential victims of human trafficking. Through
the program, partners are provided with knowledge and skills on how to
process trafficking cases and ensure that the prevention
-interception-prosecution-reintegration process will result in positive
changes in terms of gender relations and women empowerment.
c) Good Practices in Gender Sensitive Approaches – The BSD program
serves as a laboratory for the provision on integrated, holistic, gender
responsive interventions for victims of trafficking. These approaches
and strategies are carefully documented for replication in larger scope.
d) Source Replication Example – The BSD is among the first crisis
centers ever built in Asian ports uniquely for trafficking victims. Its
operation becomes the effective instrument for the prevention of the
trafficking of women and children that pass through the Philippines
domestic hub. Hence, BSD has been replicated by the Manila
International Airport Authority (MIAA) and established its own “Bahay
Silungan sa Paliparan” to protect women and children in the Philippines
passing through the international airport.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Philippine Ports Authority (Gender and Development Focal Point)
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   David Simon
Title:   Vice Chairperson, PPA GAD FP  
Telephone/ Fax:   (632) 527-8356/527-4855
Institution's / Project's Website:   www.ppa.com.ph
E-mail:   drs@ppa.com.ph  
Address:   Philippine Ports Authority, Bonifacio Drive, South Harbor, Port Area
Postal Code:   1018
City:   Manila
State/Province:   Metro Manila
Country:   Philippines

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