Cebu tourism chiefs have banned happy ending massages as part of a crackdown on sex tourism.
The prohibition is included in the recently approved Provincial Tourism Code. This 21-page document includes 16 articles, three of which are aimed at countering sex tourism.
Among them is the ban on happy ending massages, usually described as ‘lingam’, ‘yoni’ or by some other euphemistic term. According to a report in the Freeman, the prohibition applies “whether for free or for a fee”.
Article VIII, Section 8, of the code is much more direct in its wording, describing such services as “massaging of a customer’s genitals or nearby sensory spots which often results to orgasm”.
Violators of the ban could face a year in jail and a fine of 5,000 pesos. Currently, a Google search for “Cebu lingam massage” brings up more than 18 thousand results.
Much more seriously, Article VI of the code highlights the provincial government’s efforts to stamp out child sex tourism.
Prohibited acts include taking pictures of a children naked or wearing “skimpy attire”, letting a child perform a lewd or lascivious act in front of any audio-video device “for whatever purpose” and employing a child to work in a tourism establishment.
Meanwhile, tourism establishments now have a duty to submit a written report if guests are staying with minors. If necessary, they are also required to hand over any relevant CCTV footage to investigators. Failure to do so could result in the cancelation of business permits.
Furthermore, Article VII of the code has declared that the first week of November will be ‘Anti-Child Sex Tourism’ week across the province.
During this week, the code says the Cebu provincial government “shall exert all efforts to provide a safe, secure, healthy, decent, and wholesome social environment for the growth and development of the children”. Presumably, such efforts will continue to be exerted throughout the remainder of the year.
The code was sponsored by Vice Governor Agnes Magpale, the chairwoman of the committee on tourism and international affairs. Introducing its aims in a draft ordinance, she wrote: “Cebu’s indisputable reputation as the country’s top tourist destination highly demands constancy and sustainability inasmuch as its economic growth depends largely on the vibrancy and dynamism of its local tourism industry especially in the rural areas.”