By Gil M Suazo
PILA, Laguna – The Pila Cemetery Management and the Bulilan Norte Barangay Council strengthened security measures this September, after incidents of sex trade in the cemetery were reported starting August this year.
The Barangay Council assigned five tanods to guard the perimeter of the cemetery from day to night to avoid incidents of sex trade.
This is in an effort to eliminate this kind of trade and to prevent abuse against women and minors who were reportedly involved in this business.
Police officers have identified the most well-known prostitutes in the cemetery. Topping the list are “Aling Kikay,” 47, and her two daughters “Lenlen,” 16 and “Shiela,” 17. They are reportedly from the nearby town of Sta. Cruz, and visits the Pila Cemetery for sex trade.
The usual costumers are tricycle drivers, bystanders, and males who visit their relatives in that cemetery. Rates range from as low as 20 pesos to as high as 300 pesos, regardless of place and time of the day.
“Twenty pesos is enough to get the service of a prostitute in that cemetery, be it day or night. They will even be the one to approach,” Jimmy, one of the past customers said in Filipino.
According to the Municipal Social Welfare Development (MSWD) reports, most of the females engaged in the business are uneducated, poor and forced by their parents to be involved in sex trade.
“I spend my earnings for allowance in school and to buy food. My family is just poor and besides, my mother allows me to do this. I do not have a choice even though I know that what I’m doing is wrong,” Lenlen confessed in Filipino.
The Bulilan Norte Barangay Council together with the MSWD has provided counseling with the persons involved in the prostitution, especially the minors. Some were put under livelihood trainings to have a sustainable source of income, and the minors were enrolled to the Alternative Learning System (ALS) of the Department of Education (DepEd).