VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Clip MISLEADS with photos, projects that are not under Build, Build, Build program

A widely-shared video about the 10 “biggest projects” to be constructed under the Duterte administration’s multi-trillion-peso Build, Build, Build program (BBB) is misleading.

Two are not BBB projects, while photos and artists' renditions of infrastructure abroad are falsely used to illustrate others.

The video has been viewed over 620,000 times on YouTube and was uploaded by the channel PINOY's TopVideo on Aug. 22 with the headline, “10 FUTURE BIGGEST PROJECT SA BUONG PILIPINAS |Build Build Build Project|Top10List.” It continues to receive social media engagements this month.

Eco-friendly resort: False

This is not a BBB project. It is not included in the program’s official website and neither is it included in the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA)’s list of flagship infrastructure projects.

The photo shown is a commissioned rendering of an eco-friendly resort in Palawan called “Nautilus Eco-Resort” designed by Belgian architect Vincent Callebaut. In his website, the resort was described as being in a “schematic design phase” and commissioned by a “confidential” client.

City of Pearl (The New Manila Bay): False

This is also not part of BBB. City of Pearl is a 407-hectare reclamation project between the Manila local government and UAA Kinming, a group of Filipino and Chinese developers, according to news reports. It is part of the Belt and Road Initiative, China’s global infrastructure program.

The video used a photo from the Hong Kong Trade Development Council website to introduce the project. It also used screengrabs of a video by Ho & Partners Architects, the official designer of the project, showing an artist's rendering of the complex.

Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge: False Photo

One of the photos used to depict this project in the video is that of the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge (HZMB), a mega-size sea crossing linking Hong Kong, Macau and the Chinese city, Zhuhai. The original image, carried in a Rappler report about the HZMB’s opening, is from the Hong Kong Tourism Board website.

The Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge project was undergoing a feasibility study under BBB until presidential adviser for flagship projects Vince Dizon, announced its shelving on Aug. 6 to give way to more “shovel-ready” projects and those “responsive to the needs post-COVID-19.”

Mega Manila Subway: False Photo

The first image used is an official rendering of the P227-billion project from BBB website.

But the second photo is of the South Ferry-White Hall Street Station of the New York City subway, shot in 2009 and uploaded in Wikimedia Commons by a user named Bebo2good1. The version in PINOY's TopVideo’s post was manipulated to instead bear out the words “Ortigas Station” and “Metro Subway.”

According to several news reports, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said the subway project is expected to be partially operational by December 2021, and in full operation by 2025, contrary to the video’s claim that it will open in 2024.

‘Panay-Guimaras-Negros-Cebu’ Link Bridge: False Photo

The image used to “show” this project is an illustration of the 30-kilometer Temburong Bridge in Brunei, as shown in the website of one of the contractors of the project Kwansoo E&C Co., Ltd. The Bruneian structure was opened in March and is considered the longest bridge in Southeast Asia.

In the video, it was shown with a photo inset of a map of Cebu, Negros, Guimaras and Iloilo.

The project is now referred to as the Panay-Guimaras-Negros Link Bridge project, according to NEDA’s list, although its Guimaras-Negros portion was likewise shelved in August to give way to more “shovel-ready” projects. On the other hand, the Cebu-Negros Link Bridge is a separate project that fell through in 2019 due to “engineering problems.”

Mindanao Railway (Tagum - Davao City - Digos Segment): False Photo

The YouTube channel featured two train photos to illustrate the railway. One was a drawing of the project from the BBB website.

But a reverse image search revealed that the earliest traceable copy of the other photo showing a train on a track could be found on the website treinfoto2000.be. It was described as the “NS Sprinter Light Train” and was supposedly shot in June 2008 in The Netherlands.

Announcements of the Mindanao Railway’s construction have been made for the past four years. Most recently, it was pushed back to the first quarter of 2021.

Subic-Clark Cargo Railway: Needs Context

The estimated budget for the railway project was previously P32.5 billion, the amount stated in PINOY's TopVideo’s clip. But this has now grown into over P50 billion according to the BBB website and NEDA’s list. It is currently under the procurement phase and is expected to be completed by 2022. The image used to show the project was sourced from the BBB website.

NLEX-SLEX Connector: Needs Context

PINOY's TopVideo said the connector road project to link North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) with the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) will be completed in September 2020.

However, as of October it remains unfinished. The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)’s information page on the project states that less than 10 percent of the project has been completed due to the lockdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Its target finish date is now December 2021.

It used artist’s renderings of the infrastructure carried by AutoIndustriya.com in reports from April and August 2018, as well as a photo of a portion of NLEX from that news reports attributed to the old Manila North Tollways Corporation website.

PNR North 1: True

The video correctly showed artists’ renderings of the Philippine National Railways (PNR)’ North 1 and North 2 lines sourced from the BBB website, and the planned PNR Tutuban Station originally from the Department of Transportation (DOTr) website and uploaded on Wikimedia Commons.

According to the BBB site, PNR North 1 is expected to serve over 300,000 passengers daily and is slated to open in 2021. It is currently under “project development.”

MRT-4: True

The MRT-4 project, which will link portions of Metro Manila to Rizal province, is correctly described in the post as having a P59.3-billion budget and targeted to open in 2025. It is accompanied by a Philippine News Agency file photo of Dalian train cars of MRT-3, and another shot of it by Business Mirror photographer Nonoy Lacza.

The two-month old post was most recently re-shared on Oct. 19, five days after DPWH officials attended a Senate hearing on the Department's proposed 2021 budget.

PINOY's TopVideo was created last July 16.


(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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