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 illegaly available through brothels (also known as casa), bars, karaoke bars (also known as KTVs), Massage Parlors, street walkers and escort service.
The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women - Asia Pacific (CATW-AP), quoting from Kyodo News, estimated that in 1998 there were 400,000 prostituted women in the Philippines. The International Labor Organization estimated that in 1993/94 there were nearly half a million prostitutes in the country
Prostitution catering 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 Base and 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 of Ermita 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.
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