Enforce strict laws on underage drinking, govt urged

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MANILA, Jan. 25, 2013—With the circulation of a video of children allegedly drinking alcohol in a social networking site, a Catholic priest has urged government to impose strict laws against distribution and sale of alcoholic beverages to minors.

Fr. Conegundo Garganta, executive secretary of CBCP Episcopal Commission on Youth said there is a need to enforce strict laws on underage drinking.

“Like in Makati, I know minors are not allowed to buy alcoholic drinks in grocery stores or the supermarket. And to validate if they are not minor, they will need to present a valid identification card (ID). Every local government can do this to avoid incidents like the one shown in the video,” Garganta said.

He added that parents and adults need to be responsible and must exercise discretion when around minors.

Meanwhile, the National Youth Commission (NYC) has also denounced the video.

“This incident brings to mind the need for stronger laws to prohibit underage drinking. Culpability or penalties should be meted out not only to store owners and sellers but also to parents, guardians and supervising adults during the incident,” said NYC chair USec. Leon Flores III.

Flores also lamented the indiscretion or lack of better judgment on the part of the adults who were with the kids when the video was taken.

“Even then, it would be worth looking into this case and see if there was neglect on the part of the parents and if there is a clear violation of the Anti-Child Abuse Act (RA 7610) or the Child and Youth Welfare Code (PD 603),” Flores added.

NYC stressed the need for responsible use of social media and netizens should stop sharing the video.

They also reminded parents, the youth and children of the ill-effects of underage drinking. (Jandel Posion)

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