The city government has warned sari-sari stores and other establishments against selling liquors to minors.
City information officer and Anti Crime Task Force (ACTF) chief Richard Ligad said Friday that dispensing liquor and other intoxicating beverages to minors is prohibited under City Ordinance No. 544.
“Bawal talaga na ‘yong kabataan ay bebentahan mo ng alak o inumin na nakakalasing. Tatanungin [dapat] natin, ‘Ano ba ito? Kung ikaw ang iinom hindi puwede.’ Kapag nakita namin ‘yong bata may dalang alak siyempre sisitahin namin [kung] saan nanggaling ‘yan,” said Ligad.
Currently, the city government with the help of the Puerto Princesa City Police Office (PPCPO) and ACTF is strictly implementing the “10 p.m. to 4 a.m.” curfew for minors with increased visibility of authorities roving the city at night.
Article No. 5 of the ordinance imposes a P300 monetary penalty to the seller if he is/she is caught in violation the first time; P600 for the second offense or a task to do community service for a maximum of eight hours; and a fine not exceeding P1,500 or an imprisonment for no longer than six months or both fine and imprisonment depending upon the court’s discretion for the third offense.
Ligad said they are also looking forward to solidifying the ordinance in such a way that stores and establishments can be monitored very well by authorities.
However, at the moment, he said they expect honesty from those who own stores and establishments in Puerto Princesa.
He reiterated that these adults must be responsible sellers.
“Honesty muna tayo, doon muna tayo. Subukan natin kasi sa tingin naman natin para lang naman ito sa ikabubuti ng lahat, hindi lang naman ng iilan. Kaya hindi ko pa pinapa-implement masyado kasi may gray area [pa], pero siguro ipaalala na lang natin na kung sa tingin natin ‘yong bibili ay sila [‘yong kabataan] ang iinom, huwag na lang nating bentahan. Makikita naman natin sa itsura, kaya nga ang pagpapatupad nito [is] with common sense. Kung tingin natin talaga na nagdu-duda tayo, hingian natin ng proof na 18 na,” said Ligad.
Ligad said if the seller is in doubt whether the buyer is still a minor, it is better he/she does not dispense the liquors.