CITY Councilor Joel Alangsab has proposed an ordinance that would penalize individuals caught using fake, tampered, or otherwise counterfeit vaccination cards to enter the city or to avail of discounts offered by establishments in Baguio for fully vaccinated individuals.
The proposal would impose a penalty fine of up to P5,000 with potential imprisonment of up to six months, as well as suspension of a business permit where applicable, at the prerogative of the court.
The ordinance shall apply to all persons who live or sojourn in the City of Baguio.
The proposal is in line with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)’s advisory dated July 16, 2021, calling on local governments to enact ordinances providing penalties for the use and provision of tampered with and forged vaccination cards.
At the same time, the use of fake vaccination cards or passports is prohibited and punishable under the Revised Penal Code (Act No. 3815), under Article 172, which covers falsification by a private individuals and use of falsified documents; Article 174 which covers false medical certificates, false certificates of merits or service, and the like; and Article 175, which covers the use of false certificates.
Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong has also previously warned that the city is ready to press charges against those found using forged and tampered documents to gain entry to the city, with the city’s triage being equipped to confirm vaccination certificates and passports using the provided quick response (QR) codes and hotline numbers.Holders of cards that cannot be validated at the triage will have to undergo testing or otherwise be turned away.
The ordinance shall be implemented by the Baguio City Police Office, Public Order and Safety Division, and the Permits and Licensing Division under the City Mayor’s Office.
The proposed ordinance has been approved on first reading and moved to the Council Committee on Health and Sanitation, Ecology, and Environmental Protection for review.