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Bill seeks to penalize alcohol sale to minors

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

A measure seeking to penalize the selling of alcohol products to minors was recently filed in the House of Representatives.

Principally authored by Quezon Angelina Tan, M.D., House Bill No. 2453 imposes a fine of P10,000 or imprisonment of not more than three months for persons found guilty of selling or allowing minors below 18 years old to take alcoholic drink and beverages.

Tan, chair of the House of Committee on Health, said alcoholism and violence “become key issue that require urgent attention.”

A recent study by the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that two of 10 Filipinos ages 15 to 18 drink alcoholic products—six out of 10 “are not content with two bottles” of it.

Tan stressed that it was imperative for State to initiate “proactive policies to curb alcohol consumption by children and teens consistent with the Constitution’s mandate to ‘protect’ their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual, and social well-being.”

Under HB 2453, persons below 18-years old who will be caught purchasing or obtaining alcoholic drinks will be required to attend two consecutive sessions of barangay council seminars for the first and second offenses—with parents or guardians of the minor are also required to attend the seminar.

For succeeding violations committed, the minor will be handed over to the local Department of Social Welfare Development (DSWD) office for counseling and proper disposition of the issue.

Tan added misrepresenting one’s age by presenting false identification is also considered a violation under her proposed legislation.

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