FACT CHECK: Does This Image Show A ‘Vaccination Exemption’ Card In The Philippines?

Kenia Mazariegos | Contributor

An image shared on Facebook allegedly shows a “vaccination exemption” card from the Philippines.

Verdict: False

The Philippines’ Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) stated the card was “fake.”

Fact Check:

The Philippines’ “No Vaccination, No Ride” policy barred the unvaccinated from using any form of public transportation in the city of Manila, according to NPR. The policy, enforced by the Department of Transportation, required people to show a copy of their vaccination or identification card to use transportation unless they are exempt or have permission to travel, according to France 24.

The policy was lifted on Feb. 1, according to ABS-CBN News. Goddes Hope Libiran, a spokesperson for the Transportation Department, told the outlet that the policy would be lifted once the metropolitan Manila region de-escalated to Alert Level 2. Metro Manila and other areas have since gone to Level 1, the lowest alert level, and will remain so until March 15, according to the Associated Press.

Social media users are sharing an image of an alleged exemption card that suggests the Transportation Department distributed these passes to those who do not wish to get vaccinated. (RELATED: Do You Need A Phone To Show Proof Of Vaccination In Canada?)

The alleged exemption card has a green border with the words “Vaccination Exemption Card,” along with a QR code that links to a Google Drive folder that contains flyers and leaflets written in Filipino. The purported card also includes text that reads, “I fully understand the risks of non-vaccination, hence, I prefer to practice safety guidelines to keep myself and the community safe.”

The card is not real. The Transportation Department only allowed essential workers, people with medical restrictions and those traveling for essential purposes to be exempt, according to the Philippines News Agency. The article makes no mention of a vaccination exemption card.

Jonathan Malaya, the undersecretary and spokesperson of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, confirmed Jan. 18 that the exemption card is “fake.”

“The public is warned that there is no such thing as a ‘vaccination exemption card.’ This is not authorized, issued, nor recognized by the government. In other words, these are fake,” Malaya said in the statement, adding that the government will “never issue nor recognize such cards” since it would run counter to the country’s vaccination program.

Check Your Fact reached out to the Department of Transportation for the Philippines and will update the article if a response is provided.

Kenia Mazariegos