Prostitution in the Philippines

Introduction: Prostitution is a performance of sexual acts solely for the purpose of material gain. Persons prostitute themselves when they grant sexual favors to others in exchange for money, gifts, or other payment and in so doing use their bodies as commodities. In legal terms, the word prostitute refers only to those who engage overtly in such sexual-economic transactions, usually for a specified sum of money. Prostitutes may be of either sex, but throughout history the majority have been women, who have usually entered prostitution through coercion or under economic stress.

II. Preindustrial Societies Prostitution was widespread in preindustrial societies. In the ancient Middle East and India, sexual intercourse with prostitutes was believed to facilitate communion with the gods. In ancient Greece, prostitution flourished on all levels of society. In ancient Rome, prostitution also was common, despite severe legal restrictions. In the Middle Ages (5th century to 15th century), the Christian church, which valued chastity, attempted to convert or rehabilitate individual prostitutes but did not attack the institution itself.

By the late Middle Ages, licensed brothels flourished throughout Europe, yielding enormous revenues to government officials and corrupt clergy members. During the 16th century prostitution declined sharply in Europe, largely as a result of stern reprisals by Protestants and Roman Catholics. They condemned its immorality but were also motivated by a connection between prostitution and an outbreak of syphilis, a disease that is often transmitted through sexual contact. III.

Industrial Societies In the 18th century most continental European governments controlled prostitution through a system of compulsory registration, licensed brothels, and medical inspection of prostitutes. In Britain and the United States, prostitution flourished openly in urban so-called red-light districts. In time the corruption of licensed prostitution stirred protests throughout Europe. Many governments sought to check prostitution by trying to stop the international traffic in women and children. IV. Prostitution in the United States Prostitution in the United States today takes various forms.

Some prostitutes, so-called call girls, operate out of their own apartments and maintain a list of regular customers. Some follow convention circuits or work in certain resort areas. The majority are so-called streetwalkers, who find their customers on city streets. Increasing numbers are young runaways to the city who turn to the streets for survival. Many prostitutes are managed by men known as pimps, who usually take much of the money earned by the women. V. Current U. S. Attitudes The United States remains one of the few countries with laws against prostitution.

It is legal only in the state of Nevada. The rationale for its continued illegal status in the United States rests on three assumptions: prostitution is linked to organized crime, prostitution leads to increased crime in general, and prostitution is the cause of an increase in sexually transmitted diseases. These assumptions are now in question, as some experts have pointed out that prostitution is no longer an attractive investment for organized crime, and as public-health officials indicate that prostitutes account for only a small percentage of the country’s sexually transmitted disease cases.

Polls have shown that approximately half of the U. S. population would favor decriminalization of prostitution throughout the country. Decriminalization would free the courts and police to spend more time dealing with what are seen as more serious and violent crimes. The constitutionality of laws against prostitution is also in question, since they penalize prostitutes but not their customers. Prostitution in the Philippines is illegal. It is a serious crime with penalties ranging up to life imprisonment for those involved in trafficking. 1] It is covered by the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act. Prostitution is sometimes illegally available through brothels (also known as casa), bars, karaoke bars (also known as KTVs), massage parlors, street walkers and escort services. There is an estimated 800,000 women working as prostitutes in the Philippines, with up to half of them believed to be underage. Prostitution caters to local customers and foreigners. Media attention tends to focus on those areas catering to sex tourism, primarily through bars staffed by bargirls.

Cities where there is a high incidence of prostitution are Angeles, Olongapo, Subic Bay and Pasay City, with the customers usually foreign businessmen from East Asian and Western nations. Prostitution in Olongapo City and Angeles City was highly prominent during the time of the U. S. military bases called Subic Bay Naval Base and Clark Air Base, respectively. When Mount Pinatubo, a volcano, erupted in 1991, it destroyed most of Clark Air Base and the US closed it down in 1992. Most of he associated prostitution trade closed with it, but when the mayor of Manila, Alfredo Lim, closed down the sex industry area of Ermita in Manila during his first term, many of the businesses moved to Angeles, finding a new customer base among sex tourists. ————————————————- Other tourist areas such as Cebu have also developed a high profile prostitution industry. ————————————————- ————————————————-

The number of prostituted persons in the Philippines is about the size of the country’s manufacturing workforce, according to Rene Ofreneo, a former Philippine labor undersecretary and an expert on the sex trade. (Dario Agnote, “Sex trade key part of S. E. Asian economies, study says,” Kyodo News, 18 August 1998) ————————————————- ————————————————- 16 GROs rescued from prostitution den by George Hubierna from People’s Tonight

CAMP MACABULOS, Tarlac — Agents of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Team (CIDT) rescued four minors and rounded-up 12 guest relation officers from a prostitution den in Brgy San Isidro, Tarlac City. Supt. Nestor C. Babagay, CIDT Tarlac chief, said the owner, identified as Vridge Espinosa of Bgy. San Isidro was charged with Child Prostitution and Child Abuse cases with a recommended bail of P180, 000. The women were charged with violation of Presidential Decree 969 that prohibits obscene exhibition and indecent shows.

A 17-year-old girl, a resident of Forbes Park, Manila was caught having sexual intercourse with a CIDT poseur customer during the operation. In a report to CIDG regional officer Senior Supt. Guillermo Eleazar, Supt. Babagay said at 10:30 p. m. his men raided the massage clinic after one of his men entered the establishment by posing as customer. The CIDG operatives found the 18 women, who were working at the clinic failed to present their health and sanitation permits from the City Health Office which endangers the health of the customers. The four minors were turned-over to the City Social Welfare Department, all aged 17. ———————————————— Lawmaker wants to decriminalize prostitution By Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) Updated December 16, 2010 12:00 AM Comments (19) View comments MANILA, Philippines – Go after the pimps, not the prostitutes. A female lawmaker yesterday filed a bill seeking the decriminalization of prostitution to curb abuse and exploitation of women lured into sex work. Tarlac Rep. Susan Yap said the Revised Penal Code punishes women who engage in sexual intercourse for money, failing to address the criminal liability of those who lure them into prostitution and the poverty that forced them into sex work.

Citing a study by the Philippine Commission on Women, she said there are around 500,000 sex workers in the Philippines, many of whom were lured into their profession by criminal syndicates. Of the number, 100,000 are children. She believes the measure “could be a new approach in addressing the problem (of prostitution in the country. )” “We should not view the prostitutes as the source of the problem of prostitution. We should instead run after those who lured them into this kind of business,” Yap said. House Bill 1706 seeks to help prostitutes by entitling them to medical services, counseling, and legal protection services.

Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez and his brother Abante Mindanao party-list Rep. Maximo Rodriguez Jr. filed House Bill 1656, a measure that also seeks to decriminalize prostitution and provide victims with adequate protection. The bill seeks to create the National Anti-Prostitution Council that will develop a program addressing prostitution. It also requires local government units to curb prostitution in their jurisdictions. The Department of Social Welfare and Development has expressed support for the measure “to remove the stigma on prostitutes and favor the giving of options that will promote the victims’ economic well being. ”