outbrain
Close  

Gov’t lacks numbers on sex tours, justice exec admits

By: - Reporter / @MRamosINQ
/ 03:35 AM September 26, 2011

US Ambassador Harry Thomas Jr. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Justice Undersecretary Jose Vicente Salazar on Sunday said there was a need to “verify the accuracy” of US Ambassador Harry Thomas’s claim that two of every five foreign male tourists visited the Philippines for commercial sex.

Salazar, reacting to the statement made by Thomas in a judicial conference on human trafficking last week, admitted, however, that the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (Iacat), which he heads, did not have a grip on the extent of the problem.

ADVERTISEMENT

Salazar said local law enforcement and other state agencies “do not have accurate statistics on sexual tourism and related cases.

“While we acknowledge the existence of the problem  pointed out by Ambassador Thomas, there is a need, however, to verify the accuracy of his statistics,” Salazar said in an e-mailed statement.

FEATURED STORIES

By doing so, he said, “an appropriate response, a calibrated one, together with tourism authorities, will be enforced.”

Despite the lack of such a response, the justice official insisted that combatting sex trafficking had been “a top priority concern” of the government since President Aquino was sworn into office last year.

He assured the American ambassador that the Aquino administration was doing its best to curb sex trafficking and to prosecute persons behind the illicit operations.

“(A)s such, (the government) will not tolerate the promotion of sexual tourism in the country as hinted at by United States Ambassador Harry K. Thomas in a recent speaking engagement,” Salazar said.

“(T)he reinvigorated and intensified effort of the government to eradicate human trafficking is borne out of the clear recognition of its obligation to protect its citizens from exploitation,” he continued.

“In fact, the government has been intensifying its campaign against any and all forms of human trafficking,” he added.

Salazar also thanked the US for supporting the country’s antihuman trafficking programs, saying the Aquino administration was “looking toward a more coordinated and responsive action against the menace of human trafficking.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Read Next
EDITORS' PICK
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Exploitation, Foreign affairs, Harry Thomas Jr., sex, sexual tourism, Tourism, US
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2020 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.