The country's task force leading the response to the COVID-19 pandemic warned Filipinos Sunday of a Scam selling purported vaccination slots.
COVID-19 vaccines offered by the government are free and move to make money out of it is illegal, the National Task Force Against COVID-19 said in a statement.
"We would like to remind everyone that anti-COVID vaccines are FREE for all qualified citizens. They are not for sale. Thus, the selling of vaccines or of the priority slots is deemed illegal and punishable by law," the NTF said on Saturday night.
"Likewise, the priority slots are strictly intended for the A1, A2 and A3 priority groups only," it said.
The NTF reminded the public that COVID-19 vaccines available in the Philippines were only authorized for emergency use and do not have commercial licenses yet, meaning these couldn't be sold in the market.
The reminder came after the Department of the Interior and Local Government said it would investigate reports of alleged vaccine slot selling. Several local government units such as those of San Juan City, and Mandaluyong City have also launched their own investigations.
At present, the government is rolling out vaccines to the following priority groups: health workers (A1), senior citizens (A2), and persons with comorbidities (A3). It is working to extend the vaccination program to economic frontliners (A4) by the end of the month.
The NTF assured the public that scammers engaged in vaccine slot selling would be penalized.
"For those who are engaged in the unauthorized sale of anti-COVID vaccines, we ask you to stop what you are doing. The long arm of the law will soon catch up on you," it said.
"We assure the public that individuals who are involved in this prohibited scheme will be penalized," it added.