Philippines: Supermarkets Get New Alcohol Accessibility Rules
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the Philippines has issued new guidelines on displaying alcohol in supermarkets, to make it less accessible to youth.
The new rules state:
Regardless of type of packaging, all alcoholic beverages shall only be displayed in designated conspicuous area in all convenience stores, supermarkets, hypermarkets, groceries, and other food retailing stores with prominent signage ‘ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES.”
Any beverage containing alcohol including flavored alcoholic beverages will be displayed in this specific area. This is an attempt to make alcohol less accessible to youth and children, as these rules prevent alcohol from being displayed with other beverages.
All stores including smaller shops are expected to follow the rules. However if there is no space for a designated area for alcohol the shops must ensure alcohol is not sold to anyone below the age of 18.
Further according to the guidelines, all alcoholic beverages must indicate so in advertising and promotion material and packaging and labels of these beverages must not be appealing to children.
Alcohol burden in the Philippines
According to WHO data, the Philippines as a country ranks high on the scale for years of life lost due to alcohol. Over two thirds (38%) of the alcohol using Filipinos above 15 years binge on the substance.
A recent study by the Philippine government found that alcohol harm costs the government P200 Billion annually.
Considering the significant harm alcohol poses, it is important that recently, Philippines has been making several efforts towards better preventing and reducing alcohol harm, for instance through a proposed tax increase and banning alcohol use in public spaces.