September 19, 2023 Jester P. Manalastas 163 views

TWO House committees have joined hands to spread awareness of the menace of child trafficking and mobilize public opinion to combat it through a special screening of a film that exposes the horrors of this heinous crime.

The film “Sound of Freedom,” based on the real story of Tim Ballard, a former U.S. Department for Homeland Security agent who conducted sting operations to rescue a young brother and sister from human trafficking in Colombia, has started screening in the local cinemas.

The House Committee on Accounts and the Committee on Eelfare of Children spearheaded the showing of the film.

“Child trafficking is a global crisis that knows no borders, affecting millions of innocent lives each year. It is a brutal manifestation of greed, exploitation, and disregard for the most vulnerable among us,” Tingog Party-list Rep. Yedda Marie K. Romualdez, chairman of the committee on accounts, said.

Supporting Rep. Yedda in the joint project is her fellow Tingog party-list representative, Rep. Jude Acidre.

“We firmly believe that it is our collective duty to protect our children and ensure that they grow up in an environment where their rights are upheld and their dreams are nurtured,” she added.

Representing the committee on the welfare of children for the joint project is BWH Party-List Rep. Angelica Natasha Co, incumbent chairperson of the panel.

As part of the initiative, Tingog likewise extended cash donations to four non-government organizations providing shelter and related social services to children, youth, and women who were victims of trafficking, other forms of abuse, and neglect.

Recipients of the donation include the First Love International Ministries, Inc., Voice of the Free Foundation, Inc.-Center of Hope, St. Mary Euphrasia Integrated Development Foundation, Inc., and the Sanghaya Foundation, Inc.

Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez and several other lawmakers graced the screening of the movie at SM Megamall Cinema 11 in Mandaluyong City to manifest their support for the project.

He commended the two House panels for their joint project as he also urged the public to support the campaign against child trafficking.

“As a society, we must unite to break the chains of child trafficking and ensure a brighter future for our children. Together, we can build a world where every child can thrive, safe from the clutches of traffickers,” Speaker Romualdez said.

“Our collective action today will determine the course of countless young lives tomorrow,” Romualdez added.

He said the special screening of the movie highlights the necessity to further strengthen laws against the trafficking of persons, particularly of women and children.

Released on July 4, 2023 by Angel Studios, “Sound of Freedom” is considered one of the most successful independent films in history, grossing over $210 million at the worldwide box office against its $14.5 million budget.