Manila bans sale of COVID-19 vaccines; violators to face fine, imprisonment

Published May 24, 2021, 1:44 PM

by Noreen Jazul

The Manila City government has issued an ordinance prohibiting the sale of COVID-19 vaccines in the city amid reports on an alleged “vaccine fee” scheme in some Metro cities.

Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna, and Councilors Joel Chua, Jong Isip, sign an ordinance prohibiting the sale, distribution, and administration of COVID-19 vaccines “for gain, income or profit” at the Manila City Hall on Monday. (ALI VICOY / MANILA BULLETIN)

Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso on Monday signed Ordinance No. 8740 which prohibits any person, institution, corporation, and group from “distributing or administering of COVID-19 vaccine for gain, income, and profit.”

Under the ordinance, the sale of vaccines in the city will be not be allowed “while the country is in the state of emergency,” and without “full market authorization issued by the Food and Drug Administration.”

Domagoso in a press briefing said the ordinance aims to protect the poor from being taken advantage of, and also avoid the hoarding of vaccines.

“Pag nagsimula ang kitaan, lahat ng pangaabuso ay posibleng maganap (When you turn it into a money-making venture, all kinds of abuse might happen),” he said.

Domagoso said those caught violating the ordinance will be fined P5,000 and will face imprisonment not exceeding six months.

Business licenses of corporations and other entities which will be involved in distributing vaccines “for profit” will also be “immediately revoked,” according to Domagoso.

The corporation involved in the sale of vaccines will likewise be banned from doing business in the city, the mayor added.

Domagoso said the city is also willing to lend its medical personnel and other resources to private companies for their vaccination.

“The city of Manila can be of service and extend our logistical capacity,” Domagoso said.

The ordinance was enacted by the City Council on Monday and shall take effect immediately.