MEMBERS of the Baguio Association of Bars and Entertainers (Babes) have rallied their support to the anti-white slavery ordinance to prevent bars from hiring minors as entertainers.
"Para sa akin, maganda yang proposed ordinance na yan, para masiguro at matakot na rin ang mga bars at hindi mag-employ ng mga minors," Babes president Allan Bandoy told SunStar Baguio.
Bandoy said Babes will make sure their members will not violate any law against sexual exploitation.
"Legal age naman lahat ng registered entertainers natin sa Babes. Sigurado kami diyan because we require them to present their birth certificate bago sila makakuha ng working and pink cards sa health center," Bandoy stated.
Bandoy added their organization strictly implements "no working permit and pink cards, no hiring" policy.
The pink cards allow registered entertainers to undergo mandatory HIV testing every six months and regular check-ups to maintain their healthy wellbeing.
"Entertainers have proper trainings not just regarding safe sex but also on livelihood programs. Those who are interested to continue their education are allowed to study para naman kahit paano makatapos sila kahit sa high school man lang," Bandoy said.
Fifty-one bar establishments and over 700 entertainers are registered members of Babes.
It can be recalled the City Health Services Office admitted they do not monitor or cannot reach out to unregistered entertainers to have regular check-ups as they do not know their identity.
During last weeks' council session, Councilor Edgar Avila proposed an ordinance to penalize individuals who are exercising "Corruption of Minors and White Slave Trade in the City of Baguio."
"There is a growing incidence of minors and women being forced or lured into prostitution and sexual abuse for profit. We hope by increasing penalty the promotion of these abuses will be curbed if not stopped," Avila stated.
Prohibited acts under the ordinance include acting as a middleman between a prostitute and prospect client of which all persons involved can be penalized, hiring an individual to work as a guest relations officer or receptionist without just compensation and imposing bar fines to any person in an establishment who denies to have sex or any similar act with a client.
Penalties include immediate closure and revocation of establishment's permits to operate.
Meanwhile, people involved in such acts will also be banned in the city forever and will not be allowed be within a radius of 500 KM, and will tagged as a sex offender with name and picture posted in public places.