Prostitution occurs in a variety of forms. Brothels are establishments specifically dedicated to prostitution. In escort prostitution, the act takes place at the customer's residence or hotel room (referred to as out-call), or at the escort's residence or in a hotel room rented for the occasion by the escort (called in-call). Another form is street prostitution. Sex tourism refers to travelling, typically from developed to under-developed nations, to engage in sexual activity with prostitutes.
Prostitution in the Philippines is illegal. It is a serious crime with penalties ranging up to life imprisonment for those involved in trafficking.It is covered by the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act. Prostitution is sometimes illegally available through brothels (also known as casa), bars, karaoke bars (also known as KTVs), massage parlors, street walkers and escort services.
There are an estimated 800,000 women working as prostitutes in the Philippines, with up to half of them believed to be underage.[3
Prostitution in various regions
Prostitution caters to local customers and foreigners . Media attention tends to focus on those areas catering to sex tourism, primarily through bars staffed by bargirls. Cities where there is a high incidence of prostitution are Angeles, Olongapo, Subic Bay and Pasay City , with the customers usually foreign businessmen from East Asian and Western nations.
Prostitution in Olongapo City and Angeles City was highly prominent during the time of the U.S. military bases called Subic Bay Naval Baseand Clark Air Base, respectively. When Mount Pinatubo, a volcano, erupted in 1991, it destroyed most of Clark Air Base and the US closed it down in 1992.
Most of the associated prostitution trade closed with it, but when the mayor of Manila, Alfredo Lim, closed down the sex industry area ofErmita in Manila during his first term, many of the businesses moved to Angeles, finding a new customer base among sex tourists.
Other tourist areas such as Cebu have also developed a high profile prostitution industry.
Violence and coercion against prostitutes
For information about Human Trafficking and Child Prostitution in the Philippines please see Human trafficking in the Philippines
Women and children involved in prostitution are vulnerable to rape, murder, AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Surveys of women working as masseuses indicated that 34 percent of them explained their choice of work as necessary to support poor parents, 8 percent to support siblings and 28 percent to support husbands or boyfriends. More than 20 percent said the job was well paid, but only 2 percent said it was easy work and only 2 percent claimed to enjoy the work.
Over a third reported that they had been subject to violence or harassment, most commonly from the police, but also from city officials and gangsters.
A survey conducted by the International Labor Organization revealed that in the experience of most of the women surveyed, prostitution is one of the most alienating forms of labor. Over 50 percent of the women surveyed in Philippine massage parlors said they carried out their work “with a heavy heart,” and 20 percent said they were “conscience-stricken because they still considered sex with customers a sin.]Interviews with Philippine bar girls revealed that more than half of them felt “nothing” when they had sex with a client, the remainder said the transactions saddened them