Palawan hotels urged to combat child abuse, prostitution

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Hotels, island resorts, lodging houses, and the likes in Palawan on Tuesday were urged to help in the documentation and monitoring of cases of child abuse and prostitution or risk losing their business permits and other licenses.

Board member David Ponce de Leon, in a resolution he filed to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, has tapped these establishments to strictly monitor if any child is being trafficked for prostitution.

“The reality of prostitution in the province is clear as day, any observant person will notice. It is common knowledge in the tourism sector, among tricycle drivers and van rentals that sex workers and prostitution are apparent,” he said.

The board member also said law enforcement in the province is aware of it, “but they do little or nothing at all.”

“Civil authorities recognize prostitution as a social concern, yet some or many of them even take advantage of it to entertain their own visitors,” he disclosed.

But Ponce de Leon’s resolution did not specifically name the hotels or resorts where prostitution was tolerated.

The board member further said that although it was likely that urbanization and tourism growth may result to the “proportional growth” of the sex industry, it was also the responsibility of accommodation establishments to ensure that no life of any child was exposed to danger.

Ponce de Leon’s resolution cited that Republic Act 9208 (Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003) as amended by Republic 10364 (The Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012) holds it was unlawful for any person to commit acts related to trafficking in persons, prostitution, and attempted trafficking in persons. (PNA)