The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)-10 warns the public to not even try on falsifying their COVID-19 vaccination cards to avoid penalties including prison time.

     This was after receiving a report of a certain individual in Cagayan de Oro City caught by the police force selling fake vax cards.

     “Atong pahimando sa atong katawhan nga ayaw ninyo peke-a ang inyong mga vax cards kay kamo pwede ma-priso (We remind the public to avoid faking your vax cards to avoid imprisonment),” Regional Director Arnel M. Agabe said.

     Under the Revised Penal Code and Republic Act 11332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases Law, persons caught falsifying, tampering or using fake vaccination cards shall face penalties which includes a fine of P20,000 to P50,000 or imprisonment of 1 to 6 months, or both.

     For public officers/employees or a licensed professional, committing such criminal act, aside from receiving a higher penalty, 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.

“No vax, no entry”

     Two years into the pandemic, the country is slowly opening its economy by relaxing some of its travel and movement restrictions.

     With most establishments in the region implementing the “no vaccine, no entry” policy, some individuals, especially those apprehensive of the COVID-19 vaccines, pursue inappropriate measures such as counterfeiting their vax cards.

     “Your unfounded fear caused by fake news will only hinder the whole nation’s race to herd immunity,” Director Agabe said as he encourages everyone to avail of the government’s free vaccination.

     He underscores that vaccine benefits outweigh the risks as supported by legitimate studies.

     “Gusto na nato mahuman ning pandemic, ug tungod kay hapit na ang pasko, gusto ta safe ang tanan. Isa ra gyud ang atong hangyo sa tanan, pagpabakuna namo karon. Do it for yourself and your family,he said.

     (We all want to end this pandemic and with the Christmas Holiday approaching, we want everyone’s safety. We only have one request for everyone, have yourselves vaccinated now.)