VERA FILES FACT CHECK: ‘Duterte Legacy’ flier mixes true figures with inaccurate, misleading, out-of-context data

Read this fact check in Filipino

On Jan. 17, the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) launched the “Duterte Legacy” campaign to showcase the “successes and sacrifices made by President Rodrigo Duterte and his administration to bring progress to the country,” the government’s Philppine News Agency said.

Among the materials exhibited during the launch was an infographic summarizing the government’s achievements, which made the rounds on social media and is also being distributed as fliers to the public nationwide.

Photo from the Philippine News Agency

The initiative got mixed reviews; while some praised the Duterte government for its supposed successes, others accused it of cherry-picking only the favorable figures or, worse, misrepresenting the data.

We checked each of the 18 figures listed in the flier and found that, while some of the claims were indeed true, many lacked proper context, while others were either misleading or inaccurate.



ANC 24/7 Youtube channel, PH Cabinet Secretary: Duterte ‘legacy’ campaign aims to debunk fake news about drug war | ANC, Jan. 20, 2020

Philippine Statistics Authority, Employment Rate in October 2019 is Estimated at 95.5 Percent, Dec. 5, 2019

CNN Philippines, Unemployment rate lowest since 2005, Dec. 5, 2019

GMA News Online, Unemployment, underemployment fall in October fall to lowest since 2005 -- PSA, Dec. 5, 2019

Rappler, Unemployment, underemployment dip to 14-year low in October 2019, Dec. 5, 2019

Philippine Statistics Authority, Preliminary Results of the 2019 Annual Estimates of Labor Force Survey (LFS), Dec. 20, 2020

Department of Public Works and Highways official Facebook page, Villar: 4M jobs generated from govt infra projects since 2016, May 7, 2019

Philippine National Police, #RealNumbersPH Year 3: from July 1, 2016 to Nov. 30, 2019

Social Weather Stations, Third Quarter Survey 2019 Social Weather Survey: Families victimized by common crimes subside to 5.6%, Oct. 30, 2019

Social Weather Stations, Second Quarter 2017 Social Weather Survey: Victimization by any common crime at record-low 3.7%, Property crime at record-low 3.1%, Physical violence steady at 0.6% in the past 6 months; Presence of many drug addicts at 48%, Sept. 12, 2017

Social Weather Stations, Fourth Quarter 2017 Social Weather Survey: Victimization by any of the common crimes rises to 7.6%; but annual average for 2017 a record-low 6.1%, Feb. 1, 2018

Social Weather Stations, Fourth Quarter 2018 Social Weather Survey: Families victimized by common crimes rise to 7.6%, Feb. 22, 2019

Philippine Statistics Authority, Proportion of Poor Filipinos in 2015 was 23.3 Percent, Dec. 5, 2019

Philippine Statistics Authority, Proportion of Poor Filipinos was Estimated at 16.6 Percent in 2018, Dec. 6, 2019

AJ Montesa, Personal Interview, Jan. 27, 2020

Department of Education official Facebook page, DepEd School Building Program, Aug. 13, 2019

Department of Education, Public schools to have 80k more classrooms despite cut in proposed 2019 budget, Aug. 31, 2018

Presidential Communications Operations Office, Weekly Economic Briefing NEB, Malacanang January 22, 2020, Jan. 22, 2020

Mark Villar official Facebook account, DPWH Road Accomplishments, Aug. 21, 2019

Philippine News Agency, Over 9K km of roads completed under ‘Build, Build, Build’, Nov. 15, 2019

Manila Standard, Villar debunks Drilon’s claim of PH’s ‘dismal’ infra projects, Nov. 15, 2019

Manila Bulletin, What has ‘Build, Build, Build’ achieved so far? 9845 km of roads, 2,709 bridges, 64 airport projects, 243 seaport projects, Nov. 17, 2019

Philippine Statistics Authority, Summary Inflation Report Consumer Price Index (2012 = 100): December 2019, Jan. 7, 2020

Secretary Carlos Dominguez Youtube channel, 2019 Pre-SONA Economic and Infrastructure Forum, PICC, Pasay City, July 1, 2019

Department of Transportation, An open letter to Senator Franklin Drilon, Nov. 14, 2019

Department of Transportation, COMPLETED SEAPORT PROJECTS (JULY 2016-DECEMBER 2019), n.d.

Department of Health, List of Accredited DATRC Dec. 2018, n.d.

Department of Health, FOI-New Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center, n.d.

Department of Health Treatment and Rehabilitation Center - Bicutan, Historical Background, n.d.

IMD World Talent Ranking 2019

Presidential Communications Operations Office, The President’s Mid-Term Report to the People 2016-2019, n.d.

Social Weather Stations, Third Quarter 2019 Social Weather Stations Survey: Total hunger subsides to 9.1%, Oct. 23, 2019

(Guided by the code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, VERA Files tracks the false claims, flip-flops, misleading statements of public officials and figures, and debunks them with factual evidence. Find out more about this initiative and our methodology.)


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Founded in March 2008, VERA Files is published by veteran Filipino journalists taking a deeper look into current Philippine issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”

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