Bishop Noel Pantoja of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches has been named the new head of the Philippine Interfaith Movement Against Human Trafficking.
The bishop, who replaced Bishop Rex Reyes of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines as chairman, was elected during the movement’s assembly on July 23.
New representatives to the body were also appointed, including Bishop Narciso Abellana of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, and Bishop Reuel Marigza of NCCP.
“The new leadership is discussing plans on how to help address the repatriation of overseas Filipino workers and problems of online sexual exploitation of children during the pandemic,” said Bishop Pantoja.
He said that because of the ongoing crisis and loss of jobs, “many crimes are perpetrated in the homes by parents and relatives.”
The ecumenical movement is spearheaded by various faith groups including the Catholic and Evangelical bishops, the NCCP and the International Justice Mission.
Also part of the group is the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking and several government agencies.
It was formed in 2012 to address the phenomenon of human trafficking in the country.