SKY TRAXX Super Club. Phillies Sports Grill. Flaming Bar. Kurula. Roadhouse. All social institutions along storied Fields Avenue – Angeles City’s (in)famous red-light district. All ordered closed last week by the city government for operating without permits.
This, even as some 12,000 workers in the entertainment industry, principally centered in Fields Avenue, were reported to have “rushed” to the City Health Office to renew or apply for their individual “health cards.”
In a press release, the CHO reported that from January to July this year, a total of 8,749 entertainers have been issued “Pink Cards” while 3,251 employees have been issued “Gray Cards.”
The card’s color scheme denoting – per the city information office – occupation/work of the holder: pink for entertainers, gray for “mamasan,” with everything that word conjures, we presume.
The “surge” to register is attributed to Mayor Carmelo “Pogi” Lazatin Jr’s Executive Order No. 5, requiring “all workers in massage parlors, spas, and other establishments offering similar services in Angeles City to secure a pink health card from the Angeles City Sanitation/EHS Division.”
“Due to the popularity of entertainment and other recreational establishments in the city, as well as the influx of both local and foreign tourists, Angeles City has become particularly vulnerable to the prevalence of sexually-transmitted disease.” So, was the EO quoted.
Fields Avenue has always served – from the American past to the Korean present – as the epicenter of the entertainment, otherwise read: sex, industry of the city.
It makes the very face of Angeles City in the international community. Witness its having more hits in the internet than the Angeles City and Pampanga websites combined. And principally for reasons other than good, clean, fun.
Angeles City may not necessarily rise, but it surely will fall on the fate of Fields Avenue and its denizens.
Right then is Mayor Pogi in his declaration that: “The City Government has an obligation to promote and protect the health of its constituents, especially those working in vulnerable industries, and in the interest of protecting the health of workers in Angeles City, it is adamant (sic) that the city government implement measures to ensure that their health and safety is protected.”
Not to forget, of course, the health and safety of its international clientele too.
And no need for the city government to be adamant there. Just make it an imperative.