ALCOHOLIC beverage firms have signed a pledge to help prevent the sale of their products to minors online after e-commerce sales spiked during the pandemic.

The Alcoholic Beverages Alliance of the Philippines (ABAPI) signed the pledge along with e-commerce firms like Lazada Philippines, The Booze Shop, and

The industry group representing international alcoholic beverage producers and importers said it would encourage e-commerce companies to impose safeguards that prevent minors from buying their products on the platforms.

“This includes sharing industry best practices and helping e-retailers in terms of training and capacity-building. The pledge promotes responsible practices in the online sale and delivery of alcohol and encompasses not only producers and e-retailers, but the entire chain including third-party logistics and delivery companies,” ABAPI said in a press release on Tuesday.

Online platform providers plan to put in place warning messages and age-screening processes to prevent minors from buying the products. The signatories also committed to develop online channels to report sellers of counterfeit alcohol products.

Online alcohol sales went up in the past few months, the group said, after bars and restaurants reduced operations due to quarantine restrictions.

The government in July last year said it would consider banning online sellers found to have sold cigarettes and liquor to minors, which is prohibited under Philippine law. Lazada Philippines had said that it requires sellers to comply with policies to observe local laws, and that buyers’ identification cards are checked at delivery.

“Leading alcohol and online retailers worldwide have committed to work together to develop and enhance safeguards to protect minors from online alcohol sales and deliveries. This pledge is our way of making the global commitment more relevant in the Philippines,” ABAPI President and Pernod Ricard Philippines Managing Director John O’Sullivan said.

The International Alliance for Responsible Drinking in January signed a partnership with online retailers and platforms to set global standards improving age-screening in online sales. — Jenina P. Ibañez