Proposed health clinic for sex workers draws mixed reactions
By Victor L. Camion
GOVERNOR George Arnaiz backed a proposal from health experts to set up a medical clinic for commercial sex workers (CSW) in the province.
But Dumaguete City Vice Mayor William Ablong is opposed to it. "That's a way to legalize commercial sex workers," said Ablong in a separate interview.
In a recent press conference at Don Atilano Restaurant, Arnaiz believed giving the CSWs access to health facilities could make them realize that the government was extending its hand to transform them into progressive citizens.
"Pinaagi niana, hinayhinay natong matambagan nga mounding na ana buhata kay walay maayong igabunga," the governor said.
Arnaiz lamented that the government has neglected the sex workers and ignored the threat of the spread of venereal diseases.
"Wala man ta kaila nila. Karon magpataka ra na sila'g sulbod diha nga wala ta masayod nga nagsabwag na silag sakit," said Arnaiz.
Arnaiz believed that unless the government helped them, the CSWs would continue their activities.
Ablong, an active leader of church organizations, contradicted the governor's perception, saying giving the night-women a health facility of their own would not help transform them into progressive citizens.
"Magsalig na gani hinuon na kay naa na go'y tambal," said Ablong.
Ablong said the best way to help transform the sex workers was to educate them on the immorality of their profession.
Dr. Bernarda Cortes, assistant provincial health officer and Dr. Erlinda Cabrera, Dumaguete city health consultant, had been pressing for a clinic for CSWs to enable their offices to closely monitor the sex workers' health.
Both said reports estimated the number of sex workers in the city at "more than a hundred" but the provincial and city health offices had not monitored their personal hygiene.
"Ang among gikabalak-an nga kining mga bayhana maoy magpakuyanap sa sakit nga mananakod sa pagpakighilawas," said Wale.