July 23, 2024

Department of Social Welfare and Development officials, led by Sec. Rex Gatchalian, met with the representatives of META Philippines, the mother company of Facebook, in connection with the proliferation of accounts being used in the online selling of babies in the guise of adoption.

“We have created a working relationship with META whether to report to them directly or through reporting channels to create a more robust mechanism and to also work with them on developing a campaign against human trafficking,” Gatchalian said in a news release.

The meeting was attended by Usec. for International Affairs, Attached and Supervised Agencies Emmeline Aglipay Villar, Asec. Elaine Fallacurna and Usec. Janella Estrada, executive director of the National Authority for Child Care.

“We have to treat this (online illegal adoption) with the same severity on how META takes immediate action on the violations of the Anti-Online Sexual Abuse or Exploitation of Children law,” Gatchalian told the META representatives.

Estrada informed META 16 of the 23 reported Facebook pages were already taken down but new pages were being created by those behind the online selling of infants.

Estrada asked META Philippines Director for Public Policy Clare Amador, who expressed their full cooperation, for the immediate taking down of the Facebook pages that clearly engage in the illegal selling of babies online.

To make sure the problem of baby selling would be addressed seriously, Gatchalian instructed Estrada to create a team in NACC that will monitor these Facebook pages and work with META to create a more robust mechanism that will be beneficial in fighting this form of human trafficking. – PNA