VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Post claiming 80% of 18M social amelioration beneficiaries have received aid NOT TRUE

A Facebook (FB) user on April 5 published a fabricated quote card claiming Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Sec. Rolando Bautista said 80 percent of the 18 million poorest households in the country have received the government’s social amelioration aid amid the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Published in FB group OFFICIAL LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT Rodrigo Roa DUTERTE , the post featured a screengrab of what appears to be an Instagram Story or FB My Day post showing a Philippine Information Agency file photo of Bautista, superimposed with a statement he supposedly made on April 2: “We are happy to report that 80% of the 18 million households in the country had already received their Social Amelioration Benefits.”

Also in the screengrab was a strongly-worded reaction, placed above the quote card, that says the aid has not yet been “seen nor felt” by its beneficiaries.

The quote card is fake.

Bautista made no such statement during the hour-and-a-half-long Laging Handa online press briefing on April 2.

What he reported was that DSWD has already received an initial P100 billion pesos intended for distribution to the country’s poorest households estimated at 18 million. Each family will receive from P5,000 to P8,000 under the government’s social amelioration program to support their needs during the emergency.

In an interview with DZMM Teleradyo on April 15, DSWD USec. Camilo Gudmalin said that as of noon that day four million out of 18 million intended beneficiaries, roughly around 22 percent, have received social amelioration aid amounting to P18 billion.

The fabricated quote card was posted three days after the press briefing, and continues to circulate more than a week after its publication.

The Facebook post has since obtained over 2,500 shares, more than 900 reactions and over 800 comments from netizens, many of whom wrote down their areas of residence and said they haven’t received any aid yet.

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