DAVAO CITY – A group assisting survivors of prostitution said that the majority of the patrons of prostitution here are Filipino males.

Jeanette Ampog, executive director of Talikala Davao, a group that assists survivors of prostitution, said Monday that most of those who “buy” prostituted women are Filipinos.

“Majority sa Davao Filipino ang mopalit, 10 percent are foreigners naay Taiwanese, Korean, American, German, and  Japanese (In Davao, majority of those who buy prostituted women are Filipinos, 10 percent are foreigners including Taiwanese, Korean, American, German and Japanese among other nationalities),” said Ampog .

Lawig Bubai, an organization of prostituted women and children has recorded an estimate of 4,000 women and young girls in Davao City who are in prostitution. Talikala said the figure has not changed and 40% of the said figure comprise children.

Ampog said those who patronizes prostitution ages from “16 to 80 years old”.  “A man who can’t even see his coins anymore still goes to a club,” she said.

Ampog said prostitution still exists because “there is someone who buys (women).”

“Walay mamaligya kung walay mangita (No one will sell if there is no one looking for it),” she said.

October 5 is commemorated as the International Day of No Prostitution, which started in 2002 in San Francisco Bay Area in California, United States.

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte signed in 2005 Proclamation No. 07 which declared October 5 as Day of No Prostitution.

Ampog said even if October 5 is already declared as a day that there should be no pornography, phone sex, cyber sex, mail-order bride services, trafficking, strip dancing, sex tours and prostitution in massage parlors, or on the streets, “there are a lot of men who buy women even on October 5 and any other day”.

“It is the mindset of the men and the society that we need to change,” she said.

“As  part of our efforts, we organized men from seven barangays here to be our partners in promoting and protecting the rights of women and children against abuses,” she said.

Last September 24, Talikala, organized Men in Valuable Partnership with Women and Children (MVPWC) from the barangays with high incidents of human trafficking and prostitution.  The barangays include Mintal, Leon Garcia, Sasa, 76-A Bucana, Bankerohan, Matina Aplaya, and Lapu- lapu.

“We hope that they will be able to educate their fellow men not to abuse and buy women,” she said.

Ampog said the government also lacks programs for prostituted women. She said the program of the government “caters most to those who are victims of trafficking.”

“If you are prostituted, it depends if there is available program, but you need to establish that you are trafficked,” she said. (davaotoday.com)

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