Solon: Fraudulent acts related to vax program to be penalized

·2 min read

Cebu City Councilor Renato Osmeña Jr. has proposed a measure to penalize any fraudulent acts in connection with the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccination program in Cebu City.

Osmeña has filed the proposed ordinance entitled “An Ordinance Penalizing Fraudulent Acts in Connection with Covid-19 Vaccination” before the Cebu City Council on August 25, 2021.

The proposed ordinance is now under the committee on laws for review.

Under the proposed ordinance, actions which are considered illegal include:

• Counterfeiting, forging, altering or imitating a Covid-19 vaccine card, or any information, signature, and other feature of the card;

• Misrepresenting any information requested by authorities in relation to and in connection with vaccination like the information to be indicated in the vaccine card;

• Sale, advertisement, distribution, solicitation, administration of Covid-19 vaccines for profit or commercial purposes without any authorization or permit issued by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) or its equivalent;

• Acquiring Covid-19 vaccine slot, whether from a private individual or a government official or employee without any authority;

• Sale, advertisement, distribution, solicitation, administration of fake Covid-19 vaccines;

• Sale of Covid-19 vaccination slot originally reserved to the person applying for the same to others for the purpose of substituting someone other than the original applicant;

• Misrepresentation of vaccine status for purposes of fraud or deceit including a fully vaccinated person pretending to be unvaccinated for purposes of receiving additional vaccination; and

• Commission of any other deceit or fraud in relation to the government’s Covid-19 vaccination program

The proposed ordinance stipulates a fine of P5,000 or a two-hour to six-hour community service for violators, depending on the discretion of the court.

Should the offense be committed by a juridical entity, the chief executive officer, president, general manager, or officer-in-charge, shall be held liable.

The business permit and license to operate of the erring juridical entity may also be revoked or cancelled.

The implementing offices of the proposed ordinance are Cebu City Legal Department, Business Permits and Licensing Office, Cebu City Police Office, and the barangays.

Once the measure gets the approval of the Council, the draft ordinance will take effect upon posting it at prominent places in Cebu City Hall for a minimum period of three consecutive weeks.

Osmeña said it is the responsibility of the City to ensure “fair and equitable” access to vaccines and a successful implementation of the City’s Covid-19 vaccination program.

He said the City must also safeguard its limited vaccine allocation.

In June, Councilor Alvin Dizon filed a draft ordinance related to the City’s vaccination program entitled “The Anti-Sale of Covid-19 Vaccines Ordinance in the City of Cebu.”

Dizon’s proposed measure penalizes the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines and prohibits the sale of vaccination slots by any person, institution, corporation, group, or organization for gain, income, or profit. (JJL)

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