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PNP warns: Vax card fakers face fines, jail time

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National Police chief Gen. Dionardo Carlos on Saturday warned people planning to use counterfeit vaccination cards to skip border control and transport restrictions to just scrap the idea, as authorities would be strict in implementing the requirement.

“This is an offense under the Republic Act 11332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases Law. If you are caught falsifying, tampering, or using a fake vaccination card, you will be slapped with penalties including a P20,000 to P50,000 fine or imprisonment of one to six months, or both,” Carlos said.

Carlos gave the warning after Cotabato City Mayor Cynthia Guiani posted on her Facebook page photos of two fake vaccination cards that had been confiscated.

Guiani said those cards were presented at a border checkpoint by two individuals, but authorities became doubtful after observing that the first and second doses only had a 10-day gap.

Carlos said more localities are now under stricter restrictions so local executives may opt to implement the “no vaccination, no entry” policy in establishments or entry points, including checkpoints.

The Department of Transportation has also released an order prohibiting unvaccinated individuals from boarding public utility vehicles.

Carlos said such restrictions could prompt other persons to desperately look for ways to move outdoors even if they have yet to get vaccinated.

The PNP has access to an electronic verification system to check if a person is already vaccinated through the database of the respective local government units or the Department of Health, he said.

Meanwhile, Carlos said the PNP will help LGUs implement the extended alert status in Metro Manila and several provinces until January 31.

The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases has decided to stretch the implementation of COVID Alert Level 3 in Metro Manila for two more weeks, along with more localities, starting Sunday.

“This will give ample time for us to stabilize the situation. With more restrictive guidelines, the public will be discouraged from going outside for non-essential purpose. This will also help our law enforcers in monitoring the movement of people,” Carlos said.

If the extension won’t be enough to curb the further spread of COVID-19, the PNP can shift to tighter protocol enforcement if necessary.

“There are already LGUs requesting for the re-imposition of border checkpoints to check if public utility vehicles are following the passenger capacity rule. It’s timely that we are conducting the COMELEC-PNP-AFP checkpoints this election period. The same checkpoints can be maximized to serve the purpose,” Carlos said.

The PNP chief reiterated that the force will only enforce the “No vax, No entry” policy once there is a local order giving the police authority to reprimand or penalize those who violate related ordinances.

 

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