Mayor favors legalizing prostitution-A A +A
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
DAVAO City Mayor Sara Z. Duterte-Carpio said Monday that she is in favor of the United Nations’ (UN) suggestion to legalize prostitution in the Philippines in a bid to address the country’s problem with increasing number of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection, especially among prostituted women and children.
The mayor issued the statement after the UN released this month a study titled "Sex Work And The Law In Asia and The Pacific," urging Asian and Pacific countries to legalize prostitution which is considered as the oldest profession.
"Wala 'koy problema ana para dili na sila mag tago-tago (I don't have any problems with that, so they will stop hiding)," the mayor said.
Duterte-Carpio said, however, that if the main purpose of legalizing prostitution is to bring down the number of HIV incidence in the country, it will not serve its purpose since a large chunk of people who tested positive for HIV are men having sex with men (MSM).
"If you are recognized by laws, you are also protected by it," Duterte-Carpio said, adding that aside from the fact that legalizing prostitution will help the government regulate and monitor this sector, this will also bring in revenue to the government being a duly recognize sector of the society.
The mayor said, however, that even if the state will legalize prostitution in the country, it will still be difficult to reach other individuals who engage in casual sex.
Davao City is one of the cities across the country with the highest number of HIV incidence during the past years.
The mayor said the high number of HIV cases recorded in Davao City could be attributed to the city's active monitoring drive on the condition of sexually transmitted infections.
"Our campaign here is to have them tested and to know their (HIV) status," the mayor said.
Updated data on the number of HIV cases on Davao City are still unavailable as of Monday, as the authorized personnel from the city's Reproductive Health and Welness Center (RHWC) were out of town.
"Criminalization increases vulnerability to HIV by fuelling stigma and discrimination, limiting access to HIV and sexual health services, condoms and harm reduction services, and adversely affecting the self esteem of sex workers and their ability to make informed choices about their health," said part of the study that UN released this month. (JOP)
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on October 23, 2012.