The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday warned the public that falsifying documents about comorbidities to get a coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine can land you in jail.

Lying about having a disease is considered a violation of Republic Act 11332 or the Law on Reporting of Communicable Diseases, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.

Section 9 of RA 11332 prohibits the tampering of records or intentionally providing misinformation.

“Any person or entity found to have violated Section 9 of this Act shall be penalized with a fine of not less than Twenty thousand pesos (₱20,000.00) but not more than Fifty thousand pesos (₱50,000.00) or imprisonment of not less than one (1) month but not more than six (6) months, or both such fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the proper court,” the law states.

“Hindi lang diyan, baka hahanap pa tayo ng ibang batas na puwede nating gamitin pero ‘pag nagfa-falsify po kasi tayo ng mga sakit natin, katulad niyan, it’s going to be on public record, meron po ‘yang mga penalties na. Meron na po tayong vina-violate niyan sa ating existing laws in the country,” Vergeire said in a briefing.

 “Don’t go to that strategy. Hindi niyo po kailangan gawin yan. Mag-antay lang po tayo at dadating ang mga bakuna para mabakunahan po tayong lahat,” she added.

Local authorities in the cities of Cebu and San Juan caught some people lying about their comorbidities to get inoculated.

Only health workers, senior citizens, persons with comorbidities, and essential workers are eligible for vaccination, in the meantime, due to the limited vaccine supply.

 “You don’t need to fake your documents, hindi niyo kailangan magsinungaling na may sakit kayo. Mabibigyan po kayo kasi karapatan niyo po ‘yan”, Vergeire said.

The Philippines has vaccinated over 4.6 million individuals as of June 8, still far from the government’s target of inoculating 58 million people in Covid-19 hotspots this year. Ronald Espartinez