Malacañang on Tuesday called on local government units to pass ordinances punishing those selling Covid-19 vaccination slots for financial gain.

Palace spokesman Harry Roque said transactions centered around Covid-19 vaccine shots and priority slots violated the country’s obligations to the Covax facility.

“Kapag ikaw ay bumili ng slot, ibig sabihin iyong mga may pera ang mauuna at mapapahamak po pati iyong ating obligasyon sa Covax facility na dapat on the basis of equitable distribution ang ating pagbabakuna,” he said in a Palace briefing.

To date, Covax has provided the Philippines 2,749,050 vaccine doses.

“Ang panawagan namin sa mga lokal na pamahalaan ay kung pupuwede, magpasa rin sila ng ordinansa na nagpapataw ng parusa doon sa magbebenta ng slots, para malinaw po na mayroon tayong legal na basehan para parusahan ang mga taong gumagawa nito,” Roque said in a Palace briefing.

Roque stressed that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had yet to issue a commercial use permit for any Covid-19 vaccine, meaning the sale of jabs remained illegal.

“Wala pang bakuna na covered ng commercial use authorization. Ibig sabihin, dahil wala pa pong commercial use, hindi pupuwedeng ibenta dahil lahat po ng mga bakuna ay nasa experimental use authorization pa lamang,” he said.

“So kapag kayo po ay nabenta, labag po iyan doon sa batas na bumubuo ng FDA because you are engaging in illegal sale and distribution of a drug na hindi pa po covered ng commercial use,” he added.

The Covid-19 vaccines approved for emergency use in the Philippines are Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Sinovac, Covaxin, Sputnik V and Janssen. John Ezekiel J. Hirro