NATIONAL Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agents recovered last Tuesday 13 children who were taken to forced labor in a plastic recycling facility in Cavite.
NBI spokesman Deputy Director Ferdinand Lavin said the children, ages 8 to 16, were delivered from the facility of the Ever Fortune Recycle Corp. in Carmona, Cavite.
The NBI’s International Operations Division captured the officials of the corporation recognized as manager Justin Co, Marylou Olivay, Merrycar Bautista, and Vivian Pulia.
The four have been charged before the Department of Justice (DoJ) last Thursday for violating Republic Act 9206 as amended by RA 10364 (Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012) and RA 7610 (Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act).
Lavin said the rescued children have been turned over to the custody of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
The NBI operation stemmed from the complaints of two workers who were fired by Ever Fortune for filing a complaint before the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) over alleged underpayment, absence of work benefits and inhumane working conditions.
The complainants cited that they and fellow workers are stay-in workers living with their families in the compound of Ever Fortune.
Because of the measly pay and the rent being asked from them by the company, the complainants have been urged to have their children work at the facility.
“Consent is immaterial dahil ang pinagsamantalahan dito ay menor de edad at vulnerable sector of society,” Lavin said.
“Nawawalan na sila ng capacity to give consent dahil sa kanilang kahinaan,” he pointed out. (Jeffrey Damicog)
News source: Tempo