ZAMBOANGA CITY: A local health official has denied reports of alleged prostitution and brothel operations inside the evacuation centers in this city.
City Health Officer Dr. Rodelin Agbulos issued the statement following published reports about supposed prostitution activities that exist in evacuation centers here.
“When we talk about prostitution inside evacuation camps, I would negate that it is still happening now,” Agbulos said as he also denied allegations of brothel operations inside the evacuation centers.
Thousands of people, who were displaced by the September 2013 siege, are still housed in evacuation centers and transitory sites in this city. The largest evacuation center is the Mayor Joaquin Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex.
Agbulos said that incidents of prostitution involving freelance sex workers were noted during the first two months after the siege brought about by the imposition of curfew.
However, Agbulos said that these freelance sex workers took to the streets and were no longer inside the evacuation centers after the curfew was lifted.
Agbulos cited the results of the separate inspections carried out by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Task Force Buenas, and the Reproductive Health and Wellness Center, which corroborated the report of his office that no prostitution exists within the evacuation centers.
Moreover, Agbulos disclosed that only two sexually-transmitted disease (STD) cases were noted during medical consultations held from March until this month.
“We are not trying to hide any figures; we are not trying to hide any statistics, but this is based on our office’s assessment,” Agbulos emphasized. PNA