Bacolod City Rep. Evelio R. Leonardia has expressed hope that his colleagues in the 17th Congress would prioritize the passage of House Bill 6500 seeking to penalize male prostitution.
Leonardia, Bacolod mayor-elect, has filed House Bill 6500 seeking to amend Republic Act No. 3815 to include males engaged in prostitution.
“The definition unequivocally limits the term prostitute to women without providing a corresponding penalty for men who commit similar violation of the law,” Leonardia said.
Under the current law, prostitutes refer to women who, for money or profit, habitually indulge in sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct.
Leonardia reminded that under the Constitution, the government should recognize the role of women in nation building and ensure the fundamental equality before the law of men and women.
“The equal protection of the law and indiscrimination regardless of one’s gender must be upheld as it is a guaranteed right under our Bill of Rights,” Leonardia said.
“It is high time to consider that morality and chastity is a quality each citizen must possess and protect to gain respect as an individual,” he stressed.
Leonardia’s measure provides that men or women who, for money or profit, habitually indulge in sexual intercourse or lasciviousness conduct, are deemed to be prostitutes. It defines a male prostitute or gigolo as a man who is paid by a woman or another man to habitually engage in sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct in exchange for money or things of value. (Charissa M. Luci)