Human trafficking issue heats up: New rules for bars
Wednesday, August 11
At the recent city hall meeting following the raid at Ponytails bar, Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan, ACPO officers and other concerned parties discussed many things regarding the current human trafficking issue which had heated up tremendously during the past few days.
The mayor divulged that he had been pressured by numerous high ranking officials, including the US ambassador, to close down all girly bars on the Angeles entertainment strip due to the upcoming meeting of President Noynoy Aquino with US President Barrack Obama in September. The executive order was made in part to increase the Aquino administration's chances of a foreign aid boost in the hundreds of millions from the US.
These outsider critics of the city's redlight district are apparently convinced that it is a source of large-scale human trafficking. Angeles City has been carrying the stigma of being a "sex city" for decades, an image that persists even in the Internet, if one does a quick search online. Human trafficking and child prostitution are by no means a fresh issue for the city's entertainment strip, judging by the numerous online articles claiming that there are tens of thousands of enslaved prostitutes and thousands of child prostitutes on the strip. These claims and articles are absolutely absurd, having no basis whatsoever according to well-informed locals whom can confidently deny that "rampant" human trafficking is taking place in the entertainment strip.
All out anti- human trafficking mission As a result, the Mayor has ordered an all-out anti human-trafficking mission to numerous departments and stations in the city, including at the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) at Clark where recently more than a hundred passengers were kept from leaving the country on grounds of incomplete documents, to hunt syndicate groups guilty of and close down establishments plagued with human trafficking.
New rules for nightlife establishments Furthermore, the Mayor has decided to restrain the erotic entertainment at all nightlife establishments by implementing a new set of rules.
The list of new rules being:
- No topless bodypainting - No see-through apparel - No G-strings or thongs - Only one 'doorgirl' per bar - Ban of all special bar events which promote overly erotic shows
Rules to stay until after Aquino - Obama meeting It is highly likely that the rules will stay at the least until after the Aquino - Obama meeting, after which the government may be open to talks of setting the level of what is and isn't acceptable 'behavior' at bars.
Ponytails bar closed Ponytails bar which has been officially closed yesterday, will likely stay closed until post Aquino - Obama talks as well. This decision seems most likely made out of necessity to show an image of compliancy to the anti human-trafficking stance.
Definition of Human Trafficking Republic Act No. 9208 defines trafficking in persons as the recruitment, transportation, transfer or harboring, or receipt of persons with or without the victim's consent or knowledge, within or across national borders by means of threat or use of force, or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or position, taking advantage of the vulnerability of the person, or, the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of the person having control over another person for the purpose of exploitation which includes at a minimum, the exploitation or the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery, servitude or the removal or sale of human organs.