CEBU CITY – A 46-year-old man was arrested after police caught him selling fake vaccination cards on Monday.
Police identified the suspect as Clifford Arcilla, a co-owner of a printing shop along Sanciangko Street in Barangay Kalubihan in this city.
Police Lt. Albe Codilla, deputy chief for administration of Police Station 5, said an entrapment operation was conducted against the suspect after they received a report that fake vaccination cards were being sold in Sanciangko.
The report was relayed through the PNP Complaints and Referral Monitoring Information System.
Policemen who posed as customers were able to transact with Arcilla.
After charging P450 for each vaccination card, the suspect instructed the supposed customers to return an hour after the payment to claim the card.
Police Maj. Kenneth Paul Albotra, chief of the Police Station 5, said they returned to the printing shop and immediately arrested the suspect after he handed the fake vaccination cards.
The suspect will be charged for falsification of public documents, which is punishable under Article 172 of the Revised Penal Code, police said.
Police said necessary action will be taken against the printing shop where the face vaccination card was made.
Cebu City Councilor Dave Tumulak, who went to the police station after learning the arrest, disclosed that the suspect copied the fake vaccinations cards being issued in Mandaue City.
With the incident, Tumulak advised other local government units to equip their vaccination cards with quick response (QR) codes to prevent the creation of fake vaccination cards.
Tumulak said vaccination cards in Cebu City feature QR codes that when scanned, key details such as the name of the vaccine and date of vaccinations will be provided.
“It will be hard to verify the handler of the card if there’s no QR code. It should serve as an eye-opener that there is really a need to have a security feature to prevent the manufacturing of fake cards,” said Tumulak.
Tumulak said the city will be closely monitoring printing shops to avert possible proliferation of fake vaccination cards.