Sex trafficking in Davao now alarming-A A +A
Monday, September 24, 2012
DAVAO CITY -- Various non-government organizations have intensified their anti–prostitution drive to address the growing number of trafficked women and children from this city.
The city has an estimated 4,000 women and children involved in prostitution, of whom the youngest is nine and the eldest is 60, based on the record of the Talikala Davao since January this year. The figure is lower than last year’s 6,000.
But more women and children are being recruited for prostitution outside the city, and this is the growing concern now, the groups said.
Jeanette L. Ampong, Talikala Davao executive director, said prostituted women and children are being brought to San Francisco in Agusan del Sur, Davao del Norte, Diwalwal in Monkayo, Compostela Valley, Tacurong, Isulan, Palawan and Puerto Gallera.
"Kung tan-awon nato, nagkadaghan ang mga babae ug batang babae in prostitution na gina-recruit sa uban area … Ginaengganyo pa jud sila na dako ila kitaon didto sa lain lugar (There is a growing number of females being recruited for other areas, who are enticed by promises of higher pay)," Ampong said.
Ampong added that their group recorded 49 women recruited from January to March this year.
Ampong said among the areas here affected of prostitution are Monteverde, Agdao, Ponciano, Jacinto Extension, Quirino and San Pedro.
Cory Pabunag, representative of Lawig Bubai, an organization of prostituted women and children that helps Talikala keep track of the sex trade in the city, said women and children are vulnerable in prostitution due to poverty.
"Sa kalisud unya kakulangon sa livelihood ang uban na mga kababaihan, mapugos jud sila musulod aning klase na trabaho. Even some of the students in public high schools mupatol ana aron na lang sila ikagasto sa ilang project or contribute sa mga balayrunon (Because of lack of livelihood opportunities, women are forced into such work. Even high school students are enticed because they need money for their projects and class contributions)," Pabunag said.
Ampog said not only urbanized cities are enticing the prostituted; there are also those who serve military camps and mining areas.
Talikala and Lawig Bubai will once again celebrate the International Day of No Prostitution on October 5.
They will hold a forum with the women and girls from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at RM J301 of Ateneo de Davao University Jacinto Campus.
Mary Ann Sapar, secretary general of the Gabriela-Davao, said in support to Talikala, they are calling on both national and local governments to address the prostitution problem in the city.
Sapar said though various organizations are trying their best to prevent prostitution in the city, still the over-all responsibility on the matter lies in the hands of the government.
"Naa jud sa atong gobyerno ang pag-asa. Kay bisan pa daghan mi ug programa ang mga panginahanglan sa mga kababaihan ang gobyerno ra man gud maka provide ni ana susama sa livelihood and free education for the children (The answer still lies with government because even as we have many programs for women, only government has the means and resources to provide livelihood and freed education for the children)," Ampong said. (Sun.Star Davao/Sunnex)
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 25, 2012.