FACT CHECK Online Posts PHL Vote 2022

VERA FILES FACT CHECK: 2019 photos of rice prices in Davao City MISLEAD


Facebook (FB) netizens and pages revived two three-year-old photos of rice sold at a Davao City mall to claim that the staple was now selling in the P20 per kilo range, as President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. promised.

The claim is misleading. The original photos, posted by a Facebook user on Dec. 12, 2019, bore the caption: “Presyo ng Bigas (Price of rice in) front of GMALL (Gaisano Mall,) CALINAN DAVAO CITY near [the] overpass | Thanks DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE.”

Current rice prices in that particular location range from P33 to P38 per kilo as of May 25, according to a fact check article written by community paper and partner MindaNews.

Three netizens, four FB pages, and two FB groups reshared the 2019 rice price photos, which appeared from May 22 to 26. The most viral post, created by an FB netizen on May 22, got over 3,300 reactions and 30,000 shares.

FB page Philippine Shares (created on Jan. 26, 2022) used the old photos to thank Marcos and Vice President-elect Sara Duterte, while FB page Calambeño (created on Feb. 26, 2014) expressed its gratitude to rice sellers for lowering the rice price voluntarily. 

These posts appeared days after the Department of Agriculture warned that the government needed a P30 to P40 billion budget to alleviate a possible rice shortage in the latter half of this year.

Marcos vowed to lower the price of rice to P20 on April 17, which farmers from the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas dismissed and Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda said was “impossible.”

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(Editor’s Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)