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THE country’s top executive issued a stern warning to those who present fake negative COVID-19 test results, particularly travelers.

In his recent national address, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the local government units (LGUs) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to arrest these fakers, as he underscored the need to flag down potential spreaders of the highly-infectious coronavirus by giving a premium on the strict enforcement and compliance of protocols on local tourism.

“‘Wag ho ninyong gawin ‘yan at makokompromiso kayo. Pati ‘yung gastos ninyo. Kindly check twice over where you have genuine certificate,” Duterte said.

Arrest those presenting fake tests and enforce strict compliance of protocols of local tourists,” he added, addressing the authorities.

But even before Duterte issued the arrest order, the PNP made a prior warning against the idea of using cheaper but fake COVID-19 test results. PNP director general Guillermo Eleazar said that those arrested for faking COVID-19 tests would face charges for falsification of public documents and violation of the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act.

A fine of up to P50,000 and imprisonment of at least a month but not more than six months will also be imposed on the violators for forging COVID-19 test results.

The law 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.”

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