March 31, 2023

City Councilor Joel Alangsab has proposed an ordinance that sought to penalize those who use fake, tampered with, or forged vaccination cards to enter the city or to avail of incentives or discounts being offered to fully vaccinated individuals.
Under the proposed ordinance, violators will be fined P5,000 or imprisoned for a period not less than six months, or both, at the discretion of the court. If applicable, cancellation of the individual’s business permit shall also be imposed.
The ordinance shall apply to all persons who live or who are in sojourn in the city.
The implementing offices shall be the Baguio City Police Office, Public Order and Safety Division, and the Permits and Licensing Division under the City Mayor’s Office.
Under the advisory issued by the Department of the Interior and Local Government dated July 16, every local government unit is enjoined to “enact an ordinance providing for penalties for those who tamper or forge authentic vaccination cards, as well as those who present the same.”
The proposed ordinance has been approved on first reading and was referred to the committee on health and sanitation, ecology, and environmental protection for review.
Earlier, Mayor Benjamin Magalong warned those who attempt to use a fake vaccination card or passport in any transaction, including gaining entry to Baguio that the city is ready to press charges against them.
The mayor was quoted as saying the city’s triage is equipped to determine the authenticity of vaccination cards by double checking the QR codes and validating the hotline numbers indicated in the cards.
He added holders of cards that cannot be validated through these means will have to undergo testing and will not be allowed entry to the city if they refuse.
The use of fake vaccination cards or passports is prohibited and punishable under the Revised Penal Code, specifically under Article 172 (Falsification by private individual and use of falsified documents); Article 174 (False medical certificates, false certificates of merits or service, etc.); and Article 175 (Using false certificates). – Jordan G. Habbiling with reports from Aileen Refuerzo