Mayor Sara Duterte has directed the police to apprehend people making profits out of the food and medicine passes being distributed for free by the city government.
This came after reports of the proliferation of bogus FM passes have reached City Hall.
“Some of them are photocopying FM passes, which is illegal. You can really tell whether it’s fake or not. So, don’t do it,” she said.
“I already told our safety and security officers and referred to the Anti-Scam (Unit), as well, to entrap individuals using a fake FM pass and they must be arrested right away,” she said.
She said it is easy to determine a legitimate FM pass. For instance, the original is printed on thick paper and the print is more vibrant. Photocopied passes tend to have black and white or faded prints.
In an interview with Davao City Disaster Radio, she said that some people are profiting from the anxiety and fear of the public. “This has been the new modus of people taking advantage of the current situation,” she said.
The FM pass is required for a member of the household to bring whenever he/she goes out to buy food and medicine during the off-curfew hours from 6:01 a.m to 5:59 p.m under the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).
FM passes have been distributed last week through the barangay captains or the purok leaders. The implementation took effect on April 7, 2020.
She also dismissed claims that FM passes are distributed only to registered voters.
“Our guidelines does not state you have to be a registered voter to have FM pass. Whether or not you are a voter, you still need to eat, buy medicines, and there will be instances that you would need to go to the hospital. So it’s a wrong guide to say that you must be a voter before you will be given an FM pass,” she clarified.
The city mayor also warned all individuals creating misleading memes, sharing fake information, and selling bogus FM passes that they will be charged following the protocols of the ECQ.
Meanwhile, Duterte is not closing the possibility of an Extreme Enhanced Community Quarantine (EECQ) in the city after the ECQ is lifted on April 19. This means that fewer workers will be allowed to go to work, she said.
The EECQ will depend on the outcome of the current ECQ that is being implemented in the city.
“We are planning two things – one is Extreme Enhanced Community Quarantine or we go back to the ordinary community quarantine,” she said.
She said that as long as the people will follow the guideline set by the city, the sooner they can go back to their normal lives. If the virus stops spreading and halt the rising numbers of positive COVID-19 patients in the city, then “there might not be a need for an EECQ anymore.”
She also reminded business owners to prepare a system adopting physical distancing when the city goes back to implementing an ordinary community quarantine. It is better to have a system in place to prevent a relapse.
“Everyone must mark their floors and seats so that the people will know where they can sit or stand,” she said.