Fact check - gov't services/laws

FALSE: Filipinos can register for COVID-19 vaccination exemption cards

Rappler.com
FALSE: Filipinos can register for COVID-19 vaccination exemption cards
There is no such thing as a vaccination exemption card authorized, issued, or recognized by the Philippine government, says the DILG
At a glance
  • Claim: Filipinos can register for COVID-19 vaccination exemption cards.
  • Rating: FALSE
  • The facts: There is no such thing as a vaccination exemption card that is authorized, issued, or recognized by the Philippine government.
  • Why we fact-checked this: Several Facebook users posted about the aforementioned card. As of writing, the posts have garnered a combined total of 927 likes, 482 comments, and 279 shares.
Complete details

Several users on Facebook posted between January 14 and 17 about a “vaccination exemption card,” claiming that Filipinos can register for it to be exempted from COVID-19 vaccination.

The card cited Section 12 of Republic Act 11525, also known as the COVID-19 Vaccination Program Act of 2021. The card claimed Section 12 focused on “recognizing the experimental nature of COVID-19 vaccines.”

Photos showed that the card leaves spaces for a cardholder’s name, birthdate, address, and signature. The upper right corner of the card contains a QR code, which redirects to a Google Drive folder named “Covid-19 Flyers / Constitutional Rights.” The folder contains information about the COVID-19 pandemic and excerpts from the 1987 Philippine Constitution and RA No. 11525.

The card reads, “I fully understand the risk of non-vaccination, hence, I prefer to practice safety guidelines to keep myself and the community safe.”

The back of the card contains supposed signatures of House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, Senate President Vicente Sotto III, House Secretary General Mark Llandro Mendoza, Senate Secretary Myra Marie Villarica, and President Rodrigo Duterte, lifted from RA 11525.

This claim is false.

In a press release, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said there is no such thing as a vaccination exemption card, and that this is not authorized, issued, nor recognized by the government.

Hinding-hindi mag-iisyu ng exemption ang pamahalaan kanino man – maliban na lang for medical reasons – dahil ang gusto nga natin ay mabakunahan na ang lahat bilang proteksyon laban sa iba’t ibang COVID-19 variants,” said DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya.

(The government will not issue vaccination exemptions to anyone – unless necessary for medical reasons – because we want everyone to be vaccinated and protected against all COVID-19 variants.)

Section 12 of RA 11525 focuses on vaccination cards that are issued to Filipinos who are inoculated with the COVID-19 vaccine. The section mentions that vaccine cards will not be considered mandatory requirements for educational, employment, and other similar government transaction purposes, but makes no mention of a vaccination exemption card. – Gaby Baizas/Rappler.com

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.