Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT): Everything You Need to Know

When it comes to formulating and integrating comprehensive programs to prevent human trafficking, the IACAT has been established by the government to monitor and manage these implementations. It also coordinates with other member agencies in order to carry out projects and programs to address any problems related to human trafficking.

The IACAT is mandated under the Anti-trafficking in Persons Act of 2003 or Republic Act No. 9208 as amended by RA 10364 led by the Department of Justice. Together with its member agencies, it processes and addresses complaints and reports as well as locates and coordinates with victims and witnesses. It’s essential to understand how this agency works to maximize its advantages to Filipinos, especially the OFWs.

Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking IACAT

What Is the IACAT Agency?

The Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking or IACAT is a government body that serves as the coordinator and overseer of anti-human trafficking activities implemented by the Philippine government. Moreover, it is responsible for developing comprehensive programs and services that align with government initiatives to resolve trafficking in person problems.

Generally, it’s composed of department heads as members including the Department of Justice Chair, Department of Foreign Affairs, Bureau of Immigration, Commission on Filipinos Overseas, Department of Social Welfare and Development Co-Chair, and other government departments. The primary purpose of IACAT is to establish institutional mechanisms in order to protect trafficked persons while providing penalties for any violations.

Functions and Programs of IACAT

The IACAT is vested in with these powers as well as functions and programs:

  • Develop an integrated program that will help suppress human trafficking.
  • Declare all rules that are necessary for quick and effective implementation of anti-trafficking laws.
  • Check and supervise the overall implementation of anti-trafficking in persons.
  • Organize the projects and programs of each member agency in order to successfully address and resolve the problems related to human trafficking.
  • Conduct massive information dissemination regarding the laws and existing problems related to trafficking via NGOs, LGUs, and other concerned agencies.
  • Direct member agencies to respond to any issues or problems reported immediately and bring them to the attention of the Council for immediate action.
  • Facilitate any cases filed against agencies, establishments, institutions, or individuals that break the provisions and regulations regarding trafficking in persons.
  • Design a program that will help reintegrate trafficked individuals through the help of LGUs, NGOs, the Commission on Higher Education, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, DSWD, and DOLE.
  • Secure assistance from concerned departments, offices, agencies, or other organizations to implement the anti-human trafficking laws and regulations.
  • Complement the information system of the government for migration which is implemented according to RA 8042 or the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995 with information about human trafficking cases and make sure that concerned agencies or departments conduct a study and continuing research regarding the schemes of human trafficking which should help create a basis in formulating policies and programs.
  • Create a mechanism that will guarantee a coordinated, effective, and timely action to such cases of trafficking in persons.
  • Suggest solutions that will help improve cooperative efforts as well as mutual support among global nations via bilateral or multilateral agreements to suppress and prevent human trafficking in foreign countries.
  • Work with the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Transportation and Communications, and NGOs to monitor the promotion of trafficking ads on the Internet.
  • Adopt certain policies and measures that will protect the needs and rights of human trafficking victims who are foreigners in the Philippines.
  • Establish training programs that will identify and provide all the assistance needed by trafficked individuals.
  • Implement the functions and programs to achieve the main goal of the IACAT.

Departure Protocols for Filipino Travelers

The IACAT currently implements the revised departure protocols for Filipino travelers in order to clarify the documents that passengers need to provide to immigration officers who are preventing potential trafficking victims from leaving the country. With the revised guidelines, Filipinos who are traveling abroad will be protected against the danger of human trafficking.


By enforcing these refined guidelines, the IACAT aims to strengthen information dissemination and reduce or eliminate incidents of trafficking in persons. According to the revised IACAT guidelines, here are the basic requirements that will be checked by immigration officers:

  • boarding pass
  • valid visa, if applicable
  • valid passport with at least six months validity from the departure date
  • confirmed roundtrip or return ticket, if applicable

For tourists, additional requirements will be asked by IO depending on their classification. After inspecting the minimum travel requirements, the IO will also propound other necessary documents and clarificatory questions to passengers. Self-funded tourists will need to provide additional documents such as hotel booking and accommodation, source of income, and certificate of employment.

On the other hand, sponsored travels with a relative require an original copy of a PSA-issued birth certificate or marriage certificate, a confirmed roundtrip or return ticket, a valid passport, a work permit, and an OFW Clearance or Overseas Employment Certificate for OFW sponsors. Other additional requirements depend on the sponsor of the overseas travel.

The additional requirements for Overseas Filipino Workers also vary depending on their status. For first-time OFWs, they need to provide their E-receipt, OEC, or OFW Clearance from the Department of Migrant Workers; a valid work permit or visa; employment contract, and Manpower Request or Visa Usage Undertaking.

For returning OFWs or Balik Manggagawa, additional documents to be presented include a valid work permit or visa, OFW Clearance, and proof of employment. If you’re a direct hire, you need to submit an OEC or OFW Clearance and work permit or valid visa. There are so many other categories that require specific additional documents depending on who is traveling abroad, it’s essential to check the guidelines.

How to Report Human Trafficking in the Philippines

In case you witnessed or were aware of any trafficking incident in your area, you can report it to the IACAT Anti-Trafficking Task Force, the IACAT 1343 Action Line Against Human Trafficking, or to Barangay authorities. If you’re outside Metro Manila, you can contact 02 1343 to report human trafficking immediately and let the authorities address the problem.

Any individual with knowledge of any person committing an offense against trafficking in persons can file a complaint such as the spouse, parents, legal guardian, or siblings. Trafficking in persons refers to obtaining, recruiting, harboring, offering, or hiring persons without their consent, or even with their knowledge.

For trafficked victims in the Philippines, the DSWD Recovery and Reintegration Program for Trafficked Persons offers temporary shelter, legal assistance, and counseling to help them recover. In addition, the program also provides job placement and skills training in order to help them find employment and start over again.

Video: There’s a need for recalibration of PH Anti-Trafficking

In this video, you will see how the Undersecretary-in-charge of the IACAT, Nicholas Felix-Ty answers all the questions related to human trafficking in the Philippines. You will also learn how the agency works in order to prevent and suppress trafficking in persons so that Filipinos will remain safe when traveling overseas.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the primary purpose of IACAT?

The Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking is mandated to check and coordinate the implementation of RA 9208, also known as the Anti-trafficking in Persons Act of 2003. It has the power to establish anti-trafficking task forces in order to help member agencies in providing timely and effective responses to victims of human trafficking.

2. What are the member agencies of IACAT?

The member agencies of the IACAT are the Department of Justice, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Department of Education, the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Labor and Employment, and the Bureau of Immigration Commission on Filipinos Overseas.

3. Under what law does the IACAT is implemented?

The IACAT has been established under the Republic Act Number 9208 which was amended through RA 10364 or the Expanded Anti-trafficking in Persons Act. It was established to serve as the coordinating body that will monitor and oversee the effective implementation of anti-trafficking laws.

4. How do I report victims of human trafficking?

To report any human trafficking incident, the best thing to do is to reach out to the IACAT Anti-Trafficking Task Force, the IACAT 1343 Action Line Against Human Trafficking, or to Barangay authorities.

5. What does the IACAT stand for?

IACAT means Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking or IACAT and it is a government body that serves as the coordinator and overseer of anti-human trafficking activities implemented by the Philippine government.


Now that you know everything about the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking, it’s possible to help human trafficking victims by reporting the incident to the authorities. Generally, IACAT is mandated to create task forces that will address and respond to any trafficking issue brought to the attention of the agency. There are penalties for anyone who is proven to have committed human trafficking in the Philippines.

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