Filipino Bishop Denounces UN Recommendation to Legalize Prostitution

Bishop Broderick Pabillo Calls Report ‘Morally Unacceptable’

MANILA, Philippines, OCT. 24, 2012 ( A Filipino bishop has denounced the United Nations over growing criticisms regarding the international organization’s recent report recommending that sex-related jobs be legalized in the Philippines.

Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Auxiliary Bishop of Manila, called the report “morally unacceptable” and stated that it would only worsen the current situation. “Give women real rights and decent jobs and not prostitution,” said Pabillo, who also serves as chairman of the National Secretariat for Social Action, Justice and Peace. The auxiliary bishop also warned that the legalization of the sex trade would open a floodgate to predators who would abuse more women.

The United Nations report, entitled “Sex Work and the Law in Asia and the Pacific” recommended that the Philippines and other Asian countries should legalize prostitution to help curb the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, such as HIV. The report also stated that such legal recognition of prostitution as an occupation would enable sex workers to claim benefits and pensions.

Bishop Pabillo rejected the idea that such action would help control the spread of HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases. “In fact, HIV is still prevalent even in countries where prostitution is legal,” Pabillo said. The bishop urged the government to focus on behavioral change, while adding that transmission of deadly STD’s will remain high if the problem of risky sexual behavior is not tackled.