The National – Tuesday, February 15, 2011
THE public private partnership symposium on alcohol abuse got underway on a high note yesterday at the PNGIPA hall with many participants from NGOs and groups representing the most victimised and vulnerable group of women and children.
South Pacific Brewery (SPB) general manager Stan Joyce was the first speaker on the opening day. He gave his presentation on “corporate responsibility: educating consumers to drink responsibly”.
Joyce revealed that alcohol abuse in PNG was not in its volume but in its pattern of consumption.
“We have worked together with other cooperate bodies concerning alcohol abuse and have over the years, through SPB’s journey since 1952, have come up with many campaign programmes to educate people of responsible consumption of alcohol.”
He said SPB generated an income of K200 million a year and many critics said that SPB should be more concerned about the welfare of people rather than economic growth.
“Though we brew beer we also want to teach people on how to be responsible consumers so we launched ‘Operation Moderation’ where we address people’s attitude in alcohol consumption to drink moderately,” he said.
He also made reference to others including “SAM” and “designated driver campaign” where the driver does not have to drink while his other friends can enjoy their beer and be taken home safely by the sober driver.
Joyce added that alcohol was also known as a social lubricant.
He stated that illegal alcohol brewers had more in their alcohol content.
“This is sad as we also see with the marijuana consumption that is ingrained in youths,” Joyce said.
Meanwhile, women leader and Central province council of women (CPCW) president Laeko Bala said she was concered about the alcohol content in all alcohol, beverages and drugs.
“Many women continue to be victims of alcohol abuse and it was about time something was done to stop the abuse from getting worse in the family unit and the community.
“I see many women cry and my heart goes out to them; these women are victims of alcohol. We must act now because in the end we are going to be responsible,” she said.