ACTING on President Duterte’s instructions, Philippine National Police chief, General Debold M. Sinas said he has ordered his special units to monitor the presence of counterfeit and unauthorized COVID-19 vaccines that may have been smuggled into the country and being sold in the black-market.
The PNP chief said that in coordination with the Department of Health, the Food and Drugs Administration and the National Task Force-COVID-19, he has mobilized agents of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, the PNP Intelligence Group and the 17 Police Regional Offices to go after anybody who may be engaged in such illegal practice.
“I have taken to task the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, Intelligence Group, and other National Operational Support Units to organize operating teams that will launch operations to prevent the entry, distribution and sale of COVID-9 vaccines without proper authorization from the concerned government agencies,” Gen. Sinas said.
As emphasized by the DOH, NTF and the FDA, the PNP chief said no particular brand of COVID-19 vaccine is authorized to be marketed commercially in the Philippines.
“The PNP will strictly implement this official policy, and take appropriate police action in accordance with existing laws,” he said.
Gen. Sinas said that the “national vaccination program against COVID-19 is the real game changer in this global health crisis and the PNP is honored to be a key player in making this national initiative possible.”
At present, he said that the PNP Vaccination Plan “Caduceus” is now in the pre-implementation phase of operations in support to the Philippine National COVID-19 Deployment and Vaccination Plan.
This phase involves threat assessment, contingency planning and simulation exercises in pilot areas; as well as organization of the Medical Reserve Forces, inter-agency coordination, and operational planning by Police Regional Offices.
The PNP is member of the Task Group Vaccine Cold Chain and Logistics Management, Task Group Immunization Program, and Task Group Demand Generation and Communication of the NTF-COVID-19.