“Prostitution is criminal, and bad things happen because it’s run illegally by dirt-bags who are criminals. If it’s legal, then the girls could have health checks, unions, benefits, anything any other worker gets, and it would be far better.” JESSE VENTURA
By Alex P. Vidal
Flesh trade in Iloilo City is expected to suffer a big blow now that the city council has moved to expedite the passage of the moral recovery and decency ordinance.
The ordinance’s main targets are those engaged in commercial sex trade or prostitution. The ordinance is also expected to protect minors exploited by abusive pimps.
Three of the most notorious prostitution dens in Iloilo City, in fact, are located in Delgado Street, Brgy. Rizal Estanzuela, and Brgy. San Jose, Molo. There is another one reportedly located in Brgy. Democracia, Jaro but we heard it voluntarily “closed shop” recently after one of its commercial sex workers was diagnosed with HIV, a virus that causes AIDS.
There are other clandestine whorehouses in Calumpang, Calaparan, and Baluarte, all in Molo district, that are considered potential producers of sexually transmitted disease (STD) like herpes, syphilis and HIV virus.
We say “notorious” because these prostitution houses, especially the ones in Brgy. Estanzuela and Delgado St. (adjacent the Philippine Tuberculosis Society building), are like “tiangge” or sari-sari store. Open to the public.
So blatant and rampant is prostitution in these areas that their pimps have no qualms in displaying their pink ladies on sidewalks as if they were like fruits and vegetables.
These human sexual commodities distract pedestrians and send a wrong signal to children and tourists. Some parents have expressed concern about the negative impact of allowing these sexual commodities to be paraded and displayed in these areas. They are alarmed that these immoral acts are tolerated by barangay officials and police authorities.
By seven o’clock in the evening, these prostitution houses are gleaming like Christmas trees and surrounded by Christmas lights.
Some of the regular clients of the prostitution house in Brgy. San Jose, meanwhile, are government officials and municipal mayors, our sources revealed. This prostitution den makes a killing, our sources added, each time the League of Municipalities-Iloilo Chapter hold a conference in the city. The sources did not elaborate.
Now that the “Ordinance on Moral Recovery and Decency of 2014” penned by Councilor Plaridel Nava has been approved in the first reading, it is only a matter of time before it will be implemented as a city ordinance.
Once it becomes an ordinance, it would be unlawful for any person to solicit money from another in exchange for sexual favors.
The ordinance prohibits any person from transacting, engaging, performing, portraying or displaying any lascivious conduct before the public.
Nava proposed the ordinance after he noted an “alarming” increase of the number of commercial sex workers in the city.
The penalties are not really tough but aside from the corresponding fines, violators will go to jail: For first-time violators, a fine of P1,000 or 30 days imprisonment, or suffer both upon the court’s discretion. For a second violation, offenders will be fined P2,000 or 31 days to six months imprisonment, or suffer both. For third and succeeding violations, offenders will be fined P3,000 or six months and one day to one year imprisonment, or suffer both.
We hail the city council for this ordinance. We need a moral recovery program not only for public officials, but also for all of us.