VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Online posts on Duterte ‘removing’ K to 12 FALSE

Online posts circulating on social media announcing that President President Rodrigo Duterte has scrapped the K to 12 (K-12) basic education program are not true.

From May 18 to 20, Facebook has flagged at least four such false posts to have reached thousands of people, while at least 46 netizens published either the exact same or a variation of the following statement on their personal walls: “Confirmed! President Duterte removed K-12.”

Duterte did no such thing — and cannot, without Congress motioning to do the same.

The K-12 program, which expanded the previous 10 years of basic education to 12, was introduced through Republic Act 10533 or the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013.

Republic acts, which are crafted and passed by Congress and approved by the President, “can only be repealed by a similar act of Congress,” according to the Official Gazette.

The erroneous pronouncement made rounds about 10 days after Kabataan party-list Rep. Sarah Elago filed a resolution on May 9 urging the Duterte administration to review and stop the implementation of K-12. Elago said the program only added to the problems the country’s education system, saying it only contributed “more years,” “more expenses” and “no promise of a decent education and job opportunities.”

The same day Elago filed the resolution, Commission on Higher Education (CHED) chief Prospero De Vera III also said they plan to “review and change” the “defective” K to 12 Transition Program they are managing, meant to provide assistance to higher education institutions as schools transition from four years of high school to six — resulting to decreased enrollment and income for universities and colleges.

The most widely-circulated versions of the false online posts were published by the Facebook pages Shìt Pòśťèŕ, 12:AM and Loneliness, and one netizen, shared by over 62,000; 59,000; 50,000; and 53,000 people respectively.

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