People engaging in illegal acts relating to COVID-19 vaccination and those violating the inoculation rules will face fines and jail time, the Quezon City government warned Thursday.
In a statement, the city government said the policy will be implemented after Mayor Joy Belmonte received reports that some individuals are showing up at vaccination sites with fake notification messages 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 vaccine recipients for the day when verified, it added.
“This should serve as a warning to those who want to take advantage of the city’s vaccination program through illegal means,” Belmonte said.
“We won’t take your illegal acts sitting down and we will go after you with the full force of the law,” she added.
The city government also received reports about individuals engaging in fraudulent sale of COVID-19 vaccines and falsification of vaccination cards.
To address this, Belmonte approved Ordinance No. SP-3032, S-2021, to thwart any illegal acts relating to the government’s vaccination program.
Under the ordinance, counterfeiting, forging, altering or imitating a vaccine card or any information, signature, seal or feature on the same are prohibited.
The policy also prohibits the following acts:
- 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.
The city government said violators will face 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,” it said.
“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,” it added.
The Quezon City government said it continues to implement a no walk-in policy in the local vaccination program.