February 25th, 2013 03:44 AM
MANILA, Philippines—The parents of the 11 children who were shown in a YouTube video drinking liquor last Christmas will have to attend seminars on effective parenting.
Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman said the seminars will be held once a month for six months.
The minors, whose names and ages were withheld to protect their identities, were shown in a four-minute video uploaded on the social media site YouTube apparently engaged in a “drinking spree.”
Soliman over the weekend said the parents expressed their regret over the incident and signed a letter pledging not allow their children to drink liquor again and to closely supervise them.
Soliman said the store owner who sold the liquor to the minors was visited by Department of Social Welfare and Development personnel and warned not to sell any more liquor to minors or face sanctions.
The DSWD’s official Facebook account had received numerous complaints from concerned citizens regarding the YouTube video of children “on an alleged drinking spree.”
Soliman said the DSWD and its Region IV-A office coordinated with the City Social Welfare and Development Office of Calamba, Laguna, on Jan. 26, for a home visit to an address provided by an unidentified telephone caller.
Investigation revealed that on Dec. 24, Christmas Eve, the children had asked their parents to allow them to drink liquor the next day but their parents said no.
Due to the insistence of the children, however, the parents relented and allowed them to drink.
The children told a social worker who interviewed them they contributed money to buy the liquor.
Ironically, the video was taken by a parent who said she posted it on her Facebook page not knowing somebody else could grab it.
The Calamba city social welfare office provided counseling to the children and their parents on Jan. 28.
Soliman said the office would continue to provide counseling and other interventions to the children and parents who would also be required to attend a seminar on online safety.—Cynthia D. Balana