The Bureau of Public Safety (BPS) is going to step up its operation against stores selling tobacco and alcohol to minors after receiving a report pertaining to the illegal act.

Public Safety Director Aloysius Alonz, in an interview, said that they have received a report that some stores are not following the law that prohibits the selling of cigarettes and alcohol to minors and they are now setting up an operation to combat the problem.

Alonz said that most of the stores suspected of illegally selling cigarettes and alcohol are the mom-and-pop stores.

Section 21(a)(7) of RPPL No. 8-27 prohibits any person from distributing, exporting, importing or purchasing tobacco for personal use or display to any individual who is below 18 years old. It also prohibits adults from offering to purchase the products for minors.

Alonz shared that one of the challenges of enforcing the law is when adults would offer to buy cigarettes for minors.

“If we find out that an adult is buying [tobacco and alcohol] for the kids, we can arrest him and there is a particular charge for that one,” Alonz said.

Alonz said that he is going to bring up the matter during a management meeting with Vice President and Justice Minister Raynold Oilouch.

Some minors, who are sometimes seen wearing school uniforms, would be frequently seen lurking in a secluded area near the Public Works building while smoking cigarettes and Marijuana.(By Rhealyn C. Pojas)