VERA FILES FACT CHECK: FB post MISLEADINGLY credits Fabella modernization to Duterte admin


A Facebook (FB) page misleadingly claims the modernization of the Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital (DJFMH) was an initiative of the administration of outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte.

On June 9, a post appeared with a graphic comparing the old hospital grounds and the newly constructed medical facility of the DJFMH. 

A part of the caption read: “Isa sa pangunahing pangangailangan sa Metro Manila ay ang paanakan. Batid ito ni Pangulong Rodrigo Roa Duterte kayat (sic) walang news report, pinagawa niyang gusali ay makabago at maraming silid upang makayanan ang dami ng nanganganak (One of the primary needs in Metro Manila is a maternity hospital. President Duterte is aware of this that’s why, without publicity, he initiated the construction of the facility which is modern and has many rooms to support a huge number of pregnancies).”

This claim is misleading. Planning and funding for the modernization of the national maternity hospital were already in motion under the term of the late former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III. The Tri-Medical Complex Modernization Project through the Public-Private Partnership Program included the DJFMH in its modernization plan.

In 2013, the Department of Health (DOH), under the Health Facility Enhancement Program (HEFP), allotted an initial P750 million to build the new hospital. 

A year later, the National Economic and Development Authority approved the modernization project with a budget allocation of P2 billion. The DOH eventually issued a notice of award to construction firm J.D Legaspi Construction to start building the new hospital that same year.

After several delays, the construction of the new medical facility finally pushed through in June 2016 and was expected to be finished by May 2017.

The inauguration of the new DJFMH, led by Duterte, finally happened last May after a five-year delay. Several media organizations covered the event, contrary to the FB page’s claim.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III earlier said the Duterte administration paved the way for healthcare reforms by passing the Universal Health Care Law, implementing Malasakit Centers and developing public health facilities through the DOH’s HFEP.

FB page Daily Duterte (created Dec. 8, 2015) published the misleading post and it has since garnered over 13,000 reactions, 890 comments and 3,000 shares.

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.)