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GROs not allowed to falsify names in smear test

DAGUPAN CITY— Dr. Jocelyn Tongson, head of the Social Hygiene clinic here whose clients are mostly GROs, told The STAR yesterday that they require an authenticated National Statistics Office birth certificate from them before they would be allowed to have smear test whose result is their permit to continue their work, if proven negative of sexually transmitted infection ( STI).

Tongson said sometimes, some GROs borrow birth certificates of their co-workers but her staff members are wiser because they ask other details like names of the client’s parents or their birthdates.

Some said they forgot their father’s or mother’s name which is impossible, Tongson said.

The head of this government clinic said there are some agencies in government where these GROs easily get clearances but she said their office is strict.

“Yes, they can use movie­star’s screen names, especially the sex symbols when they are in their workplace but not in our data sheets,” she said.

GROs are also required to submit other documents like occupational tax, residence certificate, yellow card from the City Health Office, three (2x2) colored picture with tag, police and NBI clearances. If found negative, the client is given a white slip that would entitle her to continue to work for one week and come back for the next week and every week thereafter as long as she’s into that kind of job, she said. She said this is based on a city ordinance.

Most of their clients come from the Visayas and Mindanao.

As of the second quarter this year, the city has 223 registered sex workers, whose ages range from 18 to 45.

Tongson also said for the first quarter this year, there were 52 clients found positive of STI or 4.6 percent rate which is lower than the previous year’s 7.8 percent.

For the second quarter, there were 41 positive STI cases or 3.7 percent rate which is also lower than last year’s 7.8 percent for the same period.

She said their campaign for 100 percent condom use and their massive information education campaign in all the 31 barangays bore fruit that resulted in the high compliance and increased level of awareness for the use of condom which is scientifically proven as prophylactic device, or a preventive measure against STI.

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