Trafficked women increase alarming-A A +A
By JM Agreda
Monday, August 6, 2012
MAYOR Mauricio Domogan said reports of women trafficking in some night establishments in Baguio city are alarming.
The mayor moved for the strengthening of the task force to monitor these establishments, as he received reports from an American researcher conducting interviews on some 500 entertainers and commercial sex workers in the city.
He warned operators of night establishments to secure permits for their workers to the Baguio Health Department or face cancellation of their business permits.
He said the City Government is serious in its campaign against women trafficking, denying the issuance of business permits and ordering immediate cancellation of operations of these night establishments violating city ordinances.
Based on the report of the American researcher, whose identity he did not disclose, at least three of the 500 women she interviewed may have been victims of human trafficking.
Initial findings of the researcher showed Magsaysay Avenue no longer is the hot spot for commercial sex activities but in areas such as Naguilian and Bokawkan Roads and Marcos Highway.
The mayor is now waiting for the final report of the researcher to make appropriate actions to strengthen the city’s anti-trafficking task force.
The mayor earlier expressed concerns on the spread of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and other sexually transmitted diseases in the city.
In an earlier interview, Baguio City Health Officer Dr. Florence Reyes said the city, since it started monitoring cases in 1992, has 49 HIV positive individuals with eight recorded cases registered only last year.
Reyes said 2011 has the highest in terms of number of increase monitored in a year with 82 percent of these cases coming from men having sex with Men or MSM group.
She said the increase in cases all over the country is much higher with more than 100 percent increase noted also from the MSM group.
This year, though it is too early to tell, Reyes said there have been no confirmed reports of HIV-positive cases recorded by the health department.
While the number of HIV positive individuals has decreased in other countries, she said the country continues to have a soaring number of cases mainly due to lack of awareness.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on August 06, 2012.