MANILA, Philippines — Mayors in the capital region will discuss a possible uniform ordinance that will penalize the sale of coronavirus vaccination slots, the chair of the Metro Manila council said Wednesday.
“We’ll have a meeting tonight and we’ll tackle that so the ordinance in every Metro Manila city will be uniform, Parañaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez said in Filipino during an interview with GMA 7.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque urged cities and municipalities Tuesday to pass ordinances that will provide sanctions to individuals who sell COVID-19 shots or vaccination slots.
Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno signed an ordinance banning the sale of COVID-19 vaccines. Meanwhile, Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian issued a warning that anyone involved in those schemes would see the “stiffest penalties imposed.”
Posts on social media claimed vaccines are being sold from P10,000 to P15,000, depending on the brand. COVID-19 vaccines are only approved for emergency use in the country and cannot be sold commercially.
Olivarez said the alleged sale of shots and slots is not happening in Parañaque based on the investigation of the local police.
‘Full force of law’
The Philippine National Police and the National Bureau of Investigation are looking into the reported sale of vaccination slots in the cities of Mandaluyong and San Juan.
In an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chair Benhur Abalos said the PNP and the NBI have leads.
“Last night, I was informed of his identity but I cannot divulge it right now… He’s just a private individual,” Abalos said.
“If this is really true, we will make sure all those involved will really face the full force of the law. They will be charged in court and they will be jailed,” he added.
Police Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, PNP chief, said the Anti-Cybercrime Group did not find other posts offering the sale of vaccines or vaccination slots. He said the scheme may be a scam targeting specific people or a politically motivated act to discredit the reputation of the local government involved. — Gaea Katreena Cabico