Phak Seangly; The Phnom Penh Post; Asia News Network; July 8 2024

The order was made during the first meeting of the provincial administrative command committee on July 5. “The order to remove all alcohol advertisements aims to promote the well-being of all of our citizens, especially children because these advertisements can cause negative effects and potentially lead to excessive alcohol consumption,” he said.

Samnang is the former governor of neighbouring Kampong Speu province, who took office as Takeo governor on July 1. During his tenure in Kampong Speu, he also ordered the removal of alcohol advertisements in public areas.

The governor instructed the provincial commerce department and other pertinent local authorities to inform beer companies to remove their advertisements from public spaces. He suggested replacing them with health-related messages or educational content, or advertising drinking water instead, according to the Takeo provincial administration.

“As the Takeo provincial administration, we hereby prohibit the display of all kinds of advertisements for alcohol, drugs or gambling. Such advertisements have no place here, as they affect public health. They are prohibited,” he said. 

“From today onwards, there will be no more alcohol billboards in Takeo province. The companies that placed them must prepare to take them down immediately,” he added.

During celebrations of his appointment, which were presided over by Minister of Interior Sar SokhaSamnang pledged to improve public services, promote the safe village-commune programme, combat drugs and reduce traffic accidents.

He also announced that he would focus on attracting investors for provincial development, engaging in charitable activities, developing provincial infrastructure and upholding the law, while adhering to the government’s ethical standards and respecting the constitution, nation, religion, and King.

Yang Kim Eng, president of the People Centre for Development and Peace, said that the order to remove alcohol advertisements was an excellent example of ethical leadership, as it provided hope to children, youth, and the general public. He noted that it demonstrates a genuine effort to reduce the violence against women and children that is linked to alcohol and also promotes safe village policies.

“Aside from Samnang, no one else is doing this. Other provinces have too many alcohol advertisements. This is a good example, and should be appreciated and celebrated,” he added. Kim Eng hoped that the removal of the advertisements would serve as a model for other provinces to follow, as he believed it would enhance safety and security in the community and reduce the harmful impact of alcohol.

He explained that the WHO has identified over 200 diseases which are related to the consumption of alcohol.

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