Mayor favors legalizing prostitution

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City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio. Contributed Photo
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio. Contributed Photo

DAVAO CITY (24-Oct-2012/PNA) – City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio is in favor of legalizing prostitution as proposed by the United Nations (UN).

She said this will provide sex workers “access to basic rights and to control the spread of sexually transmitted infections” such as Human Immuno-defficiency Virus (HIV).

Duterte-Carpio told reporters during her weekly press briefing here that it would be better to legalize prostitution so that sex workers would not be in hiding anymore.

In Davao City, the mayor said HIV cases did not come from female sex workers but from overseas workers or men who were sexually involved with other men.

Duterte-Carpio said the city health office in partnership with a non-government organization had already extended social services to female commercial sex workers.

“Our prostitutes were monitored and we have a partner NGO with city health office which conducts regular check-up on them and orient them about safe sex,” the mayor said.

In its report entitled “Sex Work and the Law in Asia and the Pacific,” the United Nations urged the Philippines and other Asian countries to decriminalize sex-related jobs.

“The legal recognition of sex work as an occupation enables sex workers to claim benefits, to form or join unions and to access work-related banking, insurance, transport and pension schemes,” the report posted on Yahoo News said.

The report added that when decriminalized, the sex industry can now be subjected to general laws regarding the health and safety of the workplace and discrimination will be avoided.

The report further noted some laws under the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines particularly its Article 201 which is often used by police authorities to sue women caught in sex establishments.

Employers of sex workers also often escape liabilities on their workers claiming that they are not regular workers thus not entitled to benefits under the Philippine labor laws. (PNA)

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