1. Propagation of prostitution during the time of the Spanish Colonization in the Philippines
The rape of native women by the Spaniards created a reserve of “fallen” women who became available to service not only the homesick Spanish troops and dignities, but also the friars.
By the 19th century, prostitution was an occupation for women in Manila.
2. Prostitution during the time of the American Occupation in the Philippines
The outbreak of the Philippine-American War in 1899 and subsequent American rules led to the further entrenchment and proliferation of prostitution.
Olongapo was converted into a naval base by the American soldiers and transformed into a city of hotels, saunas, massage parlors, and prostitutes as a result of dramatic increases in demand brought about by the Korean and Vietnam wars.
The last American soldiers left in 1992 and these bases have since been converted into industrial and commercial estates, but prostitution still thrives because the women have not found alternative forms of employment.
B. Causes of Prostitution
1) Poverty and unemployment has triggered the rapid spread of prostitution in the Philippines. It provides those involved in this profession a considerable amount of income to support their families as well as supply a steady flow of remittances from urban to rural areas or from prostitutes working overseas.
2) Women have been tricked into prostitution with guarantees of decent job opportunities in the city or abroad or have been kidnapped and then forced to work as prostitutes.
3) Family expectations and problems are common factors why many enter the prostitution business. Women in particular are pressured to pay for their sibling’s education or support a sick family member. Other aspects such as dysfunctional families or constant abuse from parents have lead adolescents to leave their homes and are attracted by the easy profits from prostitution.
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