By Susan De Leon
CALOOCAN CITY — The Quezon City Government today warned that jail time and fines await people behind the fraudulent and illegal acts in relation to COVID-19 vaccinations in the city.
These include, but not limited to disinformation or spreading fake news or announcements, sale, distribution or administration of COVID-19 vaccines or vaccine slots, the falsification of COVID-19 vaccination cards, and other unlawful acts.
Mayor Joy Belmonte received reports earlier that some individuals are showing up at vaccination sites with fake notification texts from the city government.
The supposed text or email messages were purportedly sent to them, but their names were not on the list of confirmed vaccinees for the day when verified.
The mayor recently approved Ordinance No. SP-3032, S-2021, which was introduced by Majority Floor Leader Franz Pumaren and Councilors Dorothy Delarmente, and Diorella Maria Sotto-Antonio to thwart any illegal attempt to capitalize on the COVID-19 vaccination program.
“This should serve as a warning to those who want to take advantage of the city’s vaccination program through illegal means. We won’t take your illegal acts sitting down and we will go after you with the full force of the law,” said Belmonte.
The City Council passed the Ordinance following reports regarding the selling of COVID-19 vaccines from allocations provided by the national government.
In addition, there were also reports of tampering of vaccine cards, and persons offering fake COVID-19 vaccines.
Under the Ordinance, among the prohibited acts include counterfeiting, forging, altering or imitating a vaccine card or any information, signature, seal or feature on the same. Also:
- Misrepresenting any information requested by authorities in relation to vaccination, including the information indicated in the vaccine card, for purposes of obtaining undue benefits or privileges.
- Sale, advertisement, distribution, solicitation, or administration of COVID-19 vaccines for profit and commercial purposes without any authorization or permit issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
- Purchasing COVID-19 vaccines, whether from a private individual or a government official/employee, without any authority, issued by the FDA.
- Sale, advertisement, distribution, solicitation, or administration of fake or adulterated COVID-19 vaccines.
- Sale of COVID-19 vaccine slot/s originally reserved by the person applying for the same to others for the purpose of substituting someone other than the original and supposed applicant.
- Purchasing COVID-19 vaccine slot/s, whether from a private individual or a government official/employee.
- Misrepresentation of vaccine status for purposes of fraud or deceit, including a fully vaccinated person pretending to be unvaccinated for purposes of receiving additional inoculations.
- Commission of any other deceit or fraud in relation to the government’s COVID-19 vaccination program.
Violators will be meted a fine of P5,000 or imprisonment of not less than one month but not more than six months, or both at the discretion of the proper court.
If the offense is committed by a firm, partnership, corporation or other juridical entity, the chief executive officer, president, general manager or such other officer in charge will be held liable.
Aside from this, violators may also be charged for violation of Republic Act No. 9771 or the “Food and Drug Administration Act of 1991, the Revised Penal Code and other applicable laws.
As of now, the Quezon City Government continues to implement a no walk-in policy. Philippine Information Agency