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Cebu News

Individuals faking RT-PCR test, medical certificates face arrest

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has directed the Philippine National Police (PNP) to file criminal charges against individuals caught faking their Reverse-Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) tests and their medical certificates.

“The DILG directs the PNP to arrest and prosecute individuals who are forging their RT-PCR tests. This is a crime and is punishable under our law. We are also warning those people planning to fake their test certifications. Huwag n’yo na pong gawin at kung hindi, sisiguraduhin po namin na makukulong kayo,” said DILG Officer-in-Charge and Undersecretary Bernardo Florece, Jr.

Republic Act (RA) No. 11332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act provides for penalties of P20,000 but not more than P50,000 or imprisonment of not less than one month but not more than six months, or both fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the court.

Section 1-b of RA 11332 states that “tampering of records relating to notifiable diseases or health events of public health concern, which includes official medical test results or medical certificates, or such other documents and records issued by public health authorities” is punishable by law.

“Huwag po tayong matigas ang ulo. Magpa-test po tayo para sa kabutihan nyo, ng inyong pamilya, at ng lahat,” Florece said.

He said the PNP must be vigilant in guarding entry points of tourists and travelers to ensure that people are abiding by the standards set by the inter-agency task force (IATF) and the local government unit (LGU) and are compliant with minimum health standards.

“Iniiwasan natin na maulit ang nangyari sa Boracay na nakapasok ang mga turista na may pekeng RT-PCR tests kaya naman kailangan itong pangunahan ng PNP at ng pamahalaang lokal,” said Florece.

According to DILG, opening tourism sites is not an excuse for tourists to fake their way to a vacation, what is required of them should be strictly followed including following minimum health standards and the IATF protocols.

“Nakikiusap po kami sa ating mga kababayan, makiisa po tayo, hindi pa po tapos ang pandemya, mahaba pa po ito. We must cooperate or else nakahanda po ang PNP at ang mga pamahalaang lokal na kayo ay arestuhin,” said Florece.

Florece is at the helm of DILG while Secretary Eduardo Ano is still on leave following his doctor’s advice after surviving COVID-19 for the second time. — FPL (FREEMAN)

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