This series of video clips from a US news agency shows an investigation into underage prostitution in the Philippines. The bar owner is an American, of course. While most prostitution is owned and patronized by Filipinos, it is the foreigner owned bars that attract the attention of authorities and charities. The Filipino owners are too well connected and know how to work the system, who to pay and so on. None of which excuses the foreigners who own these bars and encourage underage prostitution or at the least do nothing to ensure the GROs are over 18.
The point is raised that many of these girls are not happy with being arrested, or ‘saved’. They are doing this to help their families and for many this is the easiest and most effective option. You won’t read much about efforts to change the status quo in the country and create more employment opportunities for the masses. The rich who own everything like it just as it is. Their kids go to top schools and have great career prospects. The 60% or so of the population on or below the poverty line have few choices. Because the rich own all the land the focus for generations has been on agriculture, yet there is not enough arable land to justify this. They should have gone into manufacturing like their Asian neighbours, providing jobs for the masses. They relied on foreign investment back in the Marcos days but since 1986 that investment has declined. Why? Too hard to do business here and not get ripped off, have to pay corrupt officials or jump through hoops, have local partners who itch to take the lot and so on. At least Marcos used his dictatorial reign to improve foreign investment and jobs while filling his own pockets. Too many at the top of late, with the notable exception of the current President, have carried on the pocket filling but not passed anything on to the masses, just their cronies.
The sex trade does exist int he Philippines and it does, sadly, include children and that can never be condoned. Keep in mind though the one sided presentation of this problem. Foreign bar owners and customers are a fraction of the trade. The vast majority of prostitutes work for Filipino bosses and service Filipino clients. But that is not as ‘newsworthy’ as one fo the former colonial ‘masters’ getting his come-uppance, is it?