Entry of untruthful data in the Case Investigation Form (CIF), which is required for swab tests, is prohibited under the law, warned Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) – Visayas chief implementer MGen. (Ret) Mel Feliciano, who oversees the Bacolod City Emergency Operations Center Task Force (EOC-TF).
Feliciano made the warning after a man, who tested positive for COVID-19 on October 14, was found to have entered false information in the CIF.
The man (index) declared in the CIF that his current address is Bacolod City despite presently residing in Silay City, Negros Occidental.
“It took over a day for the contact tracers to locate the index but due to our collaboration with the Provincial Health Emergency Operations Center and other cities and municipalities, the truth came out,” said EOC deputy for medical Dr. Chris Sorongon.
Sorongon added that every individual who subjects himself to COVID-19 swab tests has a “role to tell the truth.”
Filling in the CIF is a requirement for the swab test; it contains information necessary for contact tracing should the swabbed individual eventually tests positive for COVID-19.
“We are in the state of pandemic, a public health emergency. The information that we provide should be truthful and accurate because these information are used to prevent the further spread of the outbreak,” Sorongon stressed.
The City Legal Office will file a complaint against the individual for violation of Republic Act (RA) 11332, or the “Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act.”
“Tampering of records or intentionally providing misinformation” and “non-cooperation of the person or entities identified as having the notifiable disease, or affected by the health event of public concern” are among the prohibited acts enumerated under Section 9 of RA 11332.
According to the City Legal Office, disclosure of untruthful data in the CIF could count as either of these prohibited acts.
Violators under RA 11332 shall be penalized with a fine ranging from P20,000 to P50,000, or imprisonment of not less than one month but not more than six months, or both, at the court’s discretion.