MANILA — In an interview with Super Radyo dzBB on November 14, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Director Police Major Gen. Albert Ignatius Ferro warned those selling fake COVID-19 vaccination cards of six months to two years jail time under the Revised Penal Code.
“‘Yung sa pekeng vaccination card ay paiigtingin natin yung pagsawata sa mga nananamantala dahil yan ay punishable ng batas,” Ferro said.
The warning follows several reports of fake vaccination cards being sold to unvaccinated individuals, including the arrest of a sari-sari store owner in Caloocan last November 7.
Police recovered forged vaccination cards from suspect Benjamin Marilao and the computer he reportedly used to produce copies.
The suspect is facing charges of falsification of public documents.
Last September 7, the Manila Police District (MPD) arrested two persons allegedly involved in the manufacturing and sale of fake vaccination cards and negative COVID-19 reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test results in Quiapo, Manila.
“Sa kabila ng ating mahigpit na babala, hindi natinag ang mga taong ito kaya nararapat
lamang na sila ay papanagutin sa kanilang kalokohan dahil buhay ng mga tao at kapakanan ng ating bansa ang nakataya dito ,” Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said in a statement.
During the raid, MPD officers discovered computers used in the illegal activity and the template for the fake swab test results from San Lazaro Hospital and vaccination cards from Pasay City.
The suspects have also been alleged to be involved in forging birth certificates and other documents, with the raid stemming from an intelligence report.
A private individual who falsifies documents would be fined not more than PHP5,000, aside from jail time under Article 172 of the Revised Penal Code.
Ferro also warned that the CIDG is on a nationwide look-out for those selling illegal and overpriced medicines used to treat COVID-19 patients such as tocilizumab and remdesivir.
In a report by ABS-CBN News, some travelers in Quezon City are having a hard time getting their VaxCertPH record.
VaxCertPH launched last September 6 for a select group of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) as well as Metro Manila and Baguio City residents traveling abroad and is now accepting requests to issue digital COVID-19 vaccination certificate VaxCertPH for domestic use.
Local Government Units (LGUs) are responsible for the uploading of data to the VaxCertPH portal but some are experiencing issues, with QC task force vaccination official Dr. Malu Eleria explaining that those who are having a hard time accessing their digital vaccine certificates have difficulty with the personal information of their data.
Caloocan is also citing the same problem, while Manila is yet to encounter a backlog.
” ‘Pag nagkakaroon ng problema ng data ng mga vaccinees, right there and then nako-correct na namin,” Manila Vice-Mayor Honey Lacuna said.
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) spokesperson Jonathan Malaya, on the other hand, is urging agencies to accept vaccination cards issued by LGUs.
“Our advice to the LGU at sa lahat ng mga ahensya tanggapin pa rin nila ang local vaccination card, kasi it would be unfair naman. Nagpabakuna sila ngunit hindi pa na-aa-upload ng kanilang LGU, to address this Sec Eduardo Año ordered na mag isyu ng show cause order sa mga LGU na naging pabaya sa pagbigay ng kanilang datos,” Malaya said.
According to the report, at least 30 percent of vaccination data are yet to be uploaded to the VaxCertPH portal.