Jail time, fine await COVID fraudsters in QC

Published August 5, 2021, 9:41 AM

by Joseph Pedrajas

​The Quezon City government has passed a measure imposing jail time and fine ​on those who will commit illegal acts related to the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Under Ordinance No. SP-3032 S-2021, penalties await people who will be caught to be behind the fraudulent sale, distribution or administration of COVID-19 vaccines or vaccine slots as well as the falsification of COVID-19 vaccination cards, among other illegal acts.

The measure was made in a bid to “thwart any illegal attempt to capitalize on the COVID-19 vaccination program,” the local government said.

It came after the local government received reports that some individuals are showing up at vaccination sites with fake notification texts from the city government as well as selling COVID-19 vaccines from allocations provided by the national government.

There were also reports of tampering of vaccine cards, and persons offering fake COVID-19 vaccines, the local government added.

Under the measure, among the prohibited acts are the following:

• 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.

Violators will be meted 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, the measure read.

Meanwhile, if a violator is a firm, a partnership, a corporation or other juridical entity, the chief executive officer, the president, the general manager or other officer in charge will be held liable.

The local government also said violators may be charged for violation of Republic Act No. 9771, the “Food and Drug Administration Act of 1991, the Revised Penal Code, and other applicable laws.