Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Dumaguete Sex Workers Numbers Increase

Sex workers in Dumaguete, Sibulan up due to poverty
from The Sun Star Dumaguete
By Victor L. Camion

POVERTY is the main factor of a rapid increase of commercial sex workers in the city of Dumaguete and in the town of Sibulan, a top official of the Silliman University Medical Center (SUMC) extension program disclosed. Dr. Fe Wale, in-charge of Marina Clinic, said there are at least 300 sex workers in Dumaguete City and Sibulan.Marina Clinic is an extension program of SUMC funded by the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef). It is tasked to monitor the activities and the protections of the sex workers.

But Wale admitted that only 20 of the more than 300 sex workers are members of the Magdalena group. (a self help NPO) Although some of the sex workers are hiding especially students, majority of them are working openly. Tocino Country in Looc, is a haven of the more than a hundred of sex workers in Dumaguete City, said Wale. She said beerhouses and bars in Sibulan, on the other hand, are the heavens of the sex workers in the town. "We don't have the right to order them to stop being commercial sex workers," admitted Wale.She clarified that their task is to advise them to stop selling their flesh. "They (commercial sex workers) are ready to quit their job so long as they would have an alternative means of earning", Wale said. The doctor stressed that majority of the sex workers are breadwinners for their families.

Myrna (not her real name), president of the Magdalena org., and working as pimp of sex workers at Tocino Country, admitted that although some of the sex workers are selling their flesh just to buy shabu, majority of them are helping their parents in the province.Myrna, who also admitted being a sex worker before, stressed that she was forced to work as sex worker just to provide milk for her daughter.She admitted that at the age of 16, she became addicted to illegal drugs, until she got pregnant.

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