FOR Misamis Oriental Cagayan de Oro City Aids Network (Mocan), the presence of the US military facility at the old Lumbia airport as one of its priority sites in the pre-positioning of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (Edca) poses no threat despite the fear and apprehensions of some residents and militant groups that prostitution and Human Immunodeficiency Virus and the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV-Aids) would likely increase.
Mocan chairperson Fritzie Estoque said that Edca and American soldiers are no threat in the rise of HIV-Aids cases in the city.
“Dili man kaayo threat and dili ta mag-expect nga ang mga Americans naay sakit besides they are very strict in imposing self-discipline for their protection,” said Estoque adding, “The Philippines is one of the countries with many Aids cases in the world and dapat gani sila ang mahadlok sa ato.”
According to the Department of Health’s (DOH) Integrated HIV Behavioral and Serologic Surveillance (IHBSS), Cagayan de Oro City is ranked second in the country with a prevalence of 9.3 percent focused on MSMs or males having sex with males.
Estoque said it is not an issue of the city to welcome the American soldiers since the city posted already many cases.
“Usa ang CdeO sa pinakataas and pinakapaspas nga pagsaka sa kaso so why are we afraid of them coming to our place nga naa man diri ang pagtakod within our community,” Estoque said.
Talking about prostitution, Estoque said prostituted women in the city has been receiving education on proper protection.
She said the government should provide holistic and clear assistance for them to go out in the business.
“Ginasultian mana sila unsay buhaton nga protection aron dili sila mawad-an og income. Kung ang customer dili mosugot mogamit og protection dapat dili sila mosugot because they know the consequences but still it’s their decision and choice,” Estoque said.
“Kung ako lang gusto ko mawala na sila ana nga kahimtang pero dili man ingon ana kasayon. Kung mangostumer sila sa mga American soldiers, dapat consistent and correct protection gayud,” she added.