Garcia wants hotel probed for tolerating ‘escort’ services

By: Rosalie O. Abatayo July 29,2018 - 09:07 PM


Cebu City Councilor Raymond Alvin Garcia wants a hotel in the city investigated for allegedly tolerating “escort services” within their premises.

Garcia wrote the Central Visayas offices of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR-7) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI-7) on July 27 to seek their assistance in verifying reports that some of the hotel’s personnel would even collect a P1,000 entrance fee from female and transgender women escorts.

Cebu Daily News is withholding the name of the hotel pending the issuance of a statement by its management.

“This practice (of collecting entrance fees) may be considered as encouraging or promoting prostitution and/or trafficking which may be punishable under the pertinent sections of RA 9208 or Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003,” Garcia said in his letter to NBI-7.

In an interview with City Hall reporters on Friday, Garcia said that hotel personnel would divide the P1,000 entrance fee among themselves.

“The P500 goes to the reception while the other P500 goes to the guards. They have made that a source of extra income,” he said.

Garcia said he knew of the scheme after receiving a letter of complaint from a Cebu City resident bringing to his attention said practice of some hotel personnel.

A lawyer by profession, Garcia said, this kind of a money-making venture should never be tolerated because this is tantamount to abuse of the female and transgender women escorts.

The complainant, whom he refused to name, told him that escorts are asked to register on the hotel’s logbook and are required to pay the P1,000 entrance fee.

He said that those who refuse to register and pay the required fee are asked to leave the hotel’s premises.

Garcia said that he also knows of some women who were asked to leave the hotel after they were mistaken as female escorts. These women stayed at the lobby while they waited to meet some friends who were still playing at the hotel’s casino.

He said that the practice of asking women and transgender women to leave the hotel is also a form of “discrimination.”

“That is outright discrimination. They (hotel staff) only approach women and LGBTQ members. They do not approach men nor usher men away,” Garcia said.

Garcia said that after writing CHR-7 and NBI-7, he now plans to also bring the matter of the alleged discrimination of women and transgender women to the attention of former Councilor Alvin Dizon, who is now head of the city’s Anti-Discrimination Commission.

An Ordinance passed in 2016 prohibits discrimination in the City of Cebu on the basis of disability, age, health status, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, and religion.

Those caught for the violation of the ordinance may be asked to pay fines ranging from P1,000 to P5,000 or serve a jail term of one to 30 days. /with Reporter Morexette Marie B. Erram

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TAGS: escort, Garcia wants, probed, services, tolerating, wants

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