Crackdown looms vs. illegal masseurs

Dumaguete City Councilors urged law enforcers to apprehend persons engage in performing body massage services without license from the Department of Health and passing several laboratory exams to attest to their fitness.

They are scattered mostly in the boulevard, the Rotary-donated kiosk, Burgos street, at the boulevard extension which is an eyesore to the smooth flow of hikers and strollers long the P27-millioin boulevard extension.

The proliferation of groups offering body massage services in public or government owned facilities came to the fore after a complaint reached the City Council that a certain Leo Macalipay a staunch critic of the Remollo administration during the elections, has been allegedly running a band of masseurs without licences and unfairly competing with at least two rival groups whose members are accredited and licensed by the DOH. He was the barker of then Mayor Sagar, and vice Mayor Maquiling.

In last Wednesday’s session, a certain Rosalio R. Macalipay defended himself from the accusations and justified his involvement limited to merely training the masseurs so they could earn decent livelihood.

Macalipay assured the Council that “he will no longer cause any inconvenience since he is leaving the city for personal reasons.” He denied receiving cuts or fees along the way sometime.

However, Councilor Alan Cordova dismissed the letter as a poor excuse and underscored his preference for the enforcers to clear the Rizal boulevard, Quezon park and other public facilities from masseurs who are not licensed to practice their chosen trade considering that any untoward incident will harm not only their clients but the integrity of the legitimate masseurs.

To complete the course and secure a license from the DOH Board of Examiners, a masseur is expected to spend at least P20, 000 and another P500.00 to secure the Health Card that will be issued once a practitioner passes the urine exam, x-ray, Hepatitis B anit-gen and STIHIV clearance.

A legitimate masseur must have a license from DOH, issued with a health card and must belong to a group duly accredited by the Sectoral Desk Office of the city to legally practice and derive income from skills.

However, the solution to the problem as to where the masseurs could practice their trade continues to elude the City Council as it requires an enclosed area to preserve the privacy of the clients.

Councilor Lani Ramon urged the various groups of masseurs, some 20 of whom are considered legitimate, with dozens of others mostly holding NC-II certificates from TESDA are given until December 2017 to secure their licenses from DOH, to find privatelyowned facilities such as hotels and mall to serve as their “clinics” to be frequented by their patrons. (By Dems Demecillo)

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