CIBAC Party-List solons House Deputy Speaker Bro. Eddie Villanueva and Domeng Rivera commend the local government unit of Malay, Aklan, in cooperation with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) for their vigilance against tourists who forged their COVID-19 test results upon entering Boracay island.
Recently, the Department of Tourism has filed cases for falsification of public documents against six Manila-based tourists who were involved in the said fraudulent activity last January.
“It reflects that the government is serious in the implementation of safety protocols and minimum health standards during this pandemic. Nonetheless, fraud is fraud, whatever reason they will give or plead for the situation we are into, these cheaters should be penalized under our law,” House Deputy Speaker Villanueva said.
“I just pray that this will not end up as another case and practice of ningas-kugon,” he challenged the law enforcement agencies.
Faking COVID-19 test results is punishable under Republic Act No. 11332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act, with fine amounting to Php20,000 to Php50,000 or imprisonment of not less than one month but not more than of six months or both, at the decision of the court.
Earlier, the DILG already made a directive to the Philippine National Police (PNP) to arrest and prosecute tourists who counterfeit their COVID-19 tests just to get to their destination.
“The law enforcers should double its efforts this time as the government is gradually allowing various tourism spots to operate again to help revive our economy,” Rep. Rivera said.
Furthermore, CIBAC Party-list insists that police and government workers should be more vigilant in safeguarding the entry points for tourists and travelers to ensure that people are abiding by the standards. In addition, CIBAC implores the general public to cooperate with the government especially during this time of crisis.
“We appeal to the public: Do not attempt nor even plan to tamper your test results or health condition just to get into any tourist place. It is not only punishable, but it will put other people’s life and health at risk, which we do not want to happen in this time of pandemic,” Deputy Speaker Villanueva concluded. (RONDA BALITA Online)