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BAGUIO CITY—The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Cordillera is stepping up its efforts to prevent the sale of COVID-19 vaccines and vaccination slots.
“It has come to the attention of our department that there are unscrupulous individuals/groups initiating schemes to sell COVID-19 vaccines for profit, while others promise to provide vaccination slots or schedules in exchange for valuable consideration,” said OIC-Regional Director Araceli San Jose of DILG-CAR.
She said that these individuals are taking advantage of the people’s desire to get vaccinated as early as possible.
“We are urging our local government units (LGUs) to enact ordinances providing penalties for those who sell COVID-19 vaccines owned or donated to the government,” she said.
Adding, “Penalties may also be meted against those who provide or promise to provide vaccination slots or schedules in exchange for valuable consideration.”
She also urged the local chief executives (LCEs) to institute a mechanism through which the public may report individuals or entities engaged in illicit vaccine-for-sale schemes.
“Rest assured that the COVID-19 vaccines that are being administered by the government are free, thus slots or schedules are accessible to all those who belong to the eligible population without cost and should only acquire doses of vaccines from legitimate sources,” she said.
In Cordillera, the Department is stepping up its advocacy against such schemes despite the fact that there have been no reported cases, but has warned perpetrators that they will be punished accordingly.
Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police is reminded to work closely with their respective LGUs to act immediately and appropriately on reports of the said schemes obtained from the LGUs or the general public and ensure that perpetrators of vaccine-for-sale schemes are punished to the full extent of the law. By Pamela Mariz T. Geminiano