THE director of the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 has ordered all city and provincial police office directors to coordinate with the Department of Health (DOH) 7 so they can distinguish between a fake and a real vaccination card.
The national government recently announced it will now allow fully vaccinated individuals to travel around the country without having to present a negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test result.
Instead, travelers will present a vaccination card issued by the Department of Health that confirms they have received the second dose of the two-dose vaccines that have been administered nationwide.
Brig. Gen. Ronnie Montejo said he fully supports the latest guidelines issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases. That’s why he wants his men to work closely with the health department so they can learn to detect fake vaccination cards when these are presented at quarantine control points throughout Central Visayas since these are registered in the DOH 7’s database.
“I’ve asked unit commanders, provincial directors, city directors, chiefs of police and station commanders to coordinate with the DOH on how to identify an authentic vaccination card so when a traveler presents his card to our men at the quarantine control points, they can check if the card is fake or not,” Montejo said in Cebuano.
He pointed out that in the past, they arrested an individual who presented a fake test result for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.
This is the kind of scenario they want to avoid, he said, especially if the traveler comes from an area that has a high number of recorded Covid-19 cases.
Through the card, they can also find out when the traveler received his or her second dose of the vaccine, he added. The latest guidelines only travelers who have been vaccinated for more than two weeks are exempted from presenting a negative RT-PCR test result.
The Cebu City Police Office and the Cebu City Emergency Operations Center have yet to meet to discuss the implementation of the latest IATF guidelines.
Local health officials will put in place measures to check the authenticity of vaccination certificates as they, too, anticipate fake vaccination cards to circulate.
Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, Visayas Vaccination Operation Center spokesperson, said they recognize the resourcefulness of Filipinos, citing the fake RT-PCR swab test result incident at the airport.
“When you do this, remember that you are endangering the lives of the people you meet, the family members that you will be dealing with and also our communities,” she said.
Loreche said the Department of Information and Communications Technology will soon publish uniform and standard national vaccine certificates.
“I think right now, the LGUs (local government units) make sure that they are able to give you vaccine certificates that are accepted where you are going,” said Loreche.
Meanwhile, the PRO 7 has been monitoring the sale of Covid vaccines in the region.
Philippine National Police Chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar has warned the public against buying Covid vaccines, saying these are being administered for free.
A nurse from the Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center was arrested along with two other individuals during an entrapment operation in Quezon City on Wednesday, June 30, 2021, for allegedly selling Sinovac vaccines to Chinese citizens.
However, the PRO 7 director has assured that no one sells vaccines in Cebu since the vaccines that arrive here go straight to the DOH 7. (AYB / PJB / KFD)