Fake Vaccination Card Ownership Subject to Arrest, Fines

Medically reviewed by Dexter Macalintal, MD

Written by Jason Inocencio · Updated Mar 08, 2022

    Fake Vaccination Card Ownership Subject to Arrest, Fines

    A man was caught forging a fake vaccination card in an entrapment operation in Cavite on January 20. There are serious repercussions for forging and or using a fake vaccination card. Intelligence operatives conducted the operation in the town of Rosario, Cavite. The subject of a complaint filed by municipal health officer Dr. Noriel Emelo was 48-year-old fisherman Roy Marquez.

    Warning was given in 2021

    In December of last year, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) already warned the public about the falsification of COVID-19 vaccination cards. In light of a Cagayan de Oro individual caught selling fake vax cards, a warning was issued.

    With the spike in COVID-19 cases brought about by the Omicron variant, some places have instituted a “no vaccination card, no entry/no ride” policy. As a result, certain individuals who are hesitant to get vaccinated have been using fake vax cards.

    Punishment for fake vaccination cards

    The Revised Penal Code and Republic Act 11332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases Law lays out the punishment for this crime. Persons caught falsifying, tampering, or using fake vaccination cards shall face penalties which include a P20,000 to P50,000 fine or imprisonment of one to six months, or both.

    DILG-R10 Regional Director Arnel M. Agabe, speaking in Bisaya, warned in December that, “We remind the public to avoid faking your vax cards to avoid imprisonment.”

    Public officers and employees or licensed professionals committing such criminal acts are subject to higher penalties. A higher penalty and an administrative case shall be filed with the Civil Service Commission (CSC) or Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) for the revocation or suspension of their license or eligibility.

    Other cases of fake vax cards

    False information and fake news are regarded as the main reasons for people hesitating to get vaccinated. “It’s good that there are people who care enough to report illegal activities like this vaccination card forgery. The vaccine is free, and getting a vaccination card is also free, just follow the guidelines for getting it,” Emelo said in Filipino.

    Two weeks ago, Cotabato City Mayor Cynthia Guiani posted on social media that she had confiscated two fake vaccination cards. A few local government units have issued ordinances prohibiting unvaccinated residents from leaving their homes.

    In Bacolod City, three individuals were nabbed for selling fake vaccination cards. Printshop owner Loresa Funelas, Marivic Joros, and her son Ivan were identified. Bacolod police deputy spokesperson Lt. Liberty Indiape said 14 vaccination cards, seven vaccination certificates, and P100 in marked money were recovered. Also recovered from the suspects were P1400 in cash, a laptop, and a printer. The vaccination cards were being sold for P500 each.

    No vaccine, no ride

    Meanwhile, transportation officials have limited the use of public transport in Metro Manila to fully vaccinated individuals only. One of the reasons why individuals have resorted to falsifying or purchasing fake vaccination cards is supposedly this policy.

    A vaccinated person showing a physical or digital ID as well as the vaccination card or certificate has been a general policy being followed. They will be allowed to buy tickets or enter a public utility vehicle (PUV) only upon showing these requirements.

    There are three exemptions to the rule:

    • If your medical condition disallows you to get vaccinated, you need to show a medical certificate with the name and contact details of your doctor
    • When you’re availing of essential goods and services, you need to show a barangay health pass or any proof to justify the travel
    • If you’re going to a vaccination center to get inoculated.

    The “no vaccination, no ride” policy has come under fire from several sectors. Netizens, transport advocates, and others have questioned its fairness and legality. The Commission on Human Rights has said that the policy restricts the exercise and enjoyment of fundamental rights.

    The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) said that the policy will have a big impact on workers. PCCI head George Barcelon said, “This might constrain the commuters, especially the daily wage earners.”

    Key takeaways

    The selling of fake vaccination cards has been more common in the past few weeks. Police in Cavite, Bacolod City, and Cotabato City caught several individuals. The proliferation of fake vaccination cards is likely a response to public transport and establishments promoting a “no vaccination, no ride” policy. Some sectors are disputing the policy as something that can hurt daily commuters.

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    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Dexter Macalintal, MD

    Written by Jason Inocencio · Updated Mar 08, 2022