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VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Cash assistance for all Filipinos under proposed BBM bill NOT TRUE

A viral video falsely claimed that the administration of President-elect Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. will provide cash assistance to all Filipinos under a proposed stimulus bill. 

May 31, 2022

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A viral video falsely claimed that the administration of President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. will provide cash assistance to all Filipinos under a proposed stimulus bill. 

A user of Viber’s misinformation tip line asked VERA Files Fact Check to verify this claim.

The video was first posted by YouTube channel Melvs Castle on May 21. It appeared two days after Leyte 1st District Rep. Martin Romualdez, cousin of the president-elect, said a stimulus measure they will refer to as the “Bangon Bayan Muli” (BBM) bill shall be filed in the 19th Congress.

When interviewed, Romualdez did not say the proposed BBM bill (after Marcos Jr.’s moniker) and modeled after the Bayanihan 1 and 2 packages under President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration will give financial aid to every Filipino. 

As reported by multiple news organizations, he only mentioned that the bill intends to “harness whatever remaining resources to stimulate the economy” and pass measures needed to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a May 25 GMA News Online report, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri and returning senators House Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda and Sorsogon Governor Francis “Chiz” Escudero expressed support for the BBM bill as a vital stimulus package for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). 

Zubiri said he supports the proposed bill because he promised to pass a similar package to provide assistance to tourism and MSMEs affected by the pandemic. Escudero added the agriculture sector and MSMEs will likewise benefit from such a measure.

Melvs Castle’s video also incorrectly claimed that lawmakers already approved the postponement of barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections scheduled for December. 

Both Romualdez and Vice President-elect Sara Duterte supported the postponement of the barangay and SK elections to save P8 billion in funds that can instead be re-programmed for COVID-19 response and economic recovery under the proposed BBM bill.

The video by Melvs Castle (created on Dec. 2, 2011) registered 524,701 interactions. It was re-uploaded by a TikTok user and shared by FB page Kabagis (created on Nov. 2, 2021), garnering over 410,670 and 3.09 million interactions, respectively.

Have you seen any dubious claims, photos, memes, or online posts that you want us to verify? Fill out this reader request form.

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

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