Councilor: Activate anti-trafficking body-A A +A
Saturday, October 5, 2013
CEBU City Councilor Lea Japson said there is a need to convene the Cebu City Inter-agency Council (CCIACAT) against trafficking.
Japson said there are laws or ordinances violated by the operation of the Pussy Cat Clubhouse and Club Temptation. There has been no closure order issued against the bars yet.
“We asked the members of the team to make a report when we meet again next Wednesday,” said Japson.
One thing CCIACAT will look into is the business permit.
Both clubs were able to pay business taxes, but they were found out to be lacking business permits.
This means the clubs have not completed the business permit requirements, while paying taxes at the same time.
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama doesn’t know how the clubs will be closed when they pay taxes. They also employ no minors.
But Japson said a lot of the women who were forced to work in clubs are also be forced to lie in the documents to make it appear their employment is legal.
The City Legal Office has been assigned to look into other laws and ordinances that CCIACAT can use in issuing a closure order.
The council will also tap the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
“The agency has the power to close the clubs based on the working conditions,” said Japson.
Japson said Rama never convened the council, except when he called for an emergency meeting along with the Cebu City Anti-Indecency Board (CCAIB) and the Liquor Licensing Commission to determine if there was basis to close the clubs.
Rama has named Councilor Dave Tumulak as his representative. But Japson said only the mayor as the chairperson of the council can call for a meeting.
“In the absence of the chairperson, I convened the Council as vice-chairperson. Councilor Tumulak did not attend the meeting,” said Japson.
There is also ongoing investigation on the other clubs in Gen. Maxilom Ave.
Japson is the vice chairman of CCIACAT, being the Cebu City Council’s chairperson of the committee on women.
But this is the first time, since the CCIACAT was formed in 2008, that she was not appointed as presiding officer.
Japson is allied with Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK), while Rama formed his own Team Rama when he left the group in 2011.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 06, 2013.