Kids roaming Fields Ave dismay tour operators

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    ANGELES CITY – Tour operators hosting Turkish travel agents on a familiarization tour in this city last week expressed dismay over numerous street children roaming Fields avenue, a known red light district here.

    Joebert Opulencia, president of USA and Orientours Co. Ltd. based in New York City, was aghast as he narrated their experience when they visited Fields avenue Monday night.

    Opulencia said as soon as they arrived in the area, they were met by street children hawking all kinds of stuffs and services. He said cigarette vendors were clearly children who also sell Viagra tablets and other stuff .

    Opulencia said he had visited not a few red light districts abroad but none had children selling cigarettes and Viagra.

    “What kind of program has been implemented here to deal with this problem?” he asked.

    Many rich and industrialized countries also have problems with rampant prostitution but none have children exposed to such illicit trade, he added.

    “Nakakahiya tayo (Shame on us),” Opulencia remarked.

    With these developments, security could easily be compromised, he said.

    “But if we are able to manage security, the rest will follow because that’s the key to every one’s mind – to travel safe,” Opulencia said.

    Margaret N. Ongshu, president of Travel Experts, Inc. based in Makati City and Gilda Padua president of Ties That Travel here were also bothered by the experience.

    Early this month, Councilor Joseph “PG” Ponce took to the podium at the city council and delivered a privilege speech exposing the same story.

    Ponce said the apathy of people manning the Angeles City Entertainment Promotions Office which oversees the area is unbelievable.

    Ponce said girls dressed as masseuse approach prospective customers and off er massage services. But what is more appalling, Ponce said, is they don’t have an establishment or a place to perform their services other than the prospective customer’s motel or hotel room.

    “I made the privilege speech to save the children and the image of the city,” he said.

    The group of Turkish travel agents also visited Clark and Subic freeports as part of their familiarization tour hosted by the Philippine travel operators and sponsored by Qatar Airways.

    The Turkish delegates arrived via the Clark International Airport (CIA) to look for an alternative Asian destination to include in their travel tour packages other than Bangkok, Pattaya or Phuket.

    Burcu Inal, sales executive of Qatar Airways, reiterated that the airline company sponsored the familiarization tour in order to look for an alternative Asian destination for the Turkish travel agents.

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