Commercial sex workers rising in Baguio

BAGUIO CITY – Nightspot owners admitted there is a 30 to 50 percent increase in the number of commercial sex workers in the city during peak tourism months because of the significant increase in the number of their patrons.

Allan Bandoy, president of the Baguio Association of Bars and Entertainment Society (BABES), admitted there is an influx of commercial sex workers coming from different parts of the country every November to May or the so-called peak tourism months because of the proven increase in their patrons during the peak tourism months.

It was learned that there are around 800 registered commercial sex workers with the city health services office who regularly seek medical attention but the said number rises to more than 1,200 during the peak tourism months because commercial sex trade in the city has been proven to be lucrative due to the influx of foreign and domestic tourists who patronize them.

Bandoy said the group is committed to closely monitoring the activities of their members to make sure that entertainers comply with the stringent health regulations for them to register with the city health services office and for them to undergo the mandatory regular check-up weekly to ascertain their health conditions.

However, he admitted the group cannot actually monitor the activities of illegal commercial sex workers who also continue to proliferate in the city which pose a serious threat in the spread of the dreaded human immune virus (HIV) which is the initial stage of the dreaded Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

Dra. Celiaflor Brillantes, head of the social hygiene clinic of the city health services office, said the city government continues to regulate the operation of nightspots and even those working in the said establishments through the issuance of colored cards which are updated weekly in order to ensure that they are safe from whatever illnesses.

She admitted that despite the implementation of stringent regulations, a number of new HIV cases continue to be discovered because of the fact that those contracting the illness do not seek medical attention and that they are also engaged in unsafe sex such as men having sex with men among others.

Aside from HIV and AIDS, other sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhea, syphilis among others are commonly discovered from the commercial sex workers frequently seeking medical attention from the city health services office during their weekly regular check-ups, thus, appropriate medications are prescribed for them not to further contaminate others and spreading such kinds of illnesses.

She called on nightspot owners to make sure that their guest relation officers are duly registered with the city health services and for them to religiously undergo their prescribed weekly check-up for them to be protected from contracting illnesses that would compromise their health condition and productivity.

By Dexter A. See