VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Story about classes starting at 8:30 AM carries FALSE HEADLINE

Website The Asian Policy ( recently published a story falsely claiming in its headline that classes in schools in the country will now start at 8:30 a.m.

The misleading report bore the headline, “Simula ng klase sa mga skwelahan, magiging 8:30 AM na (Starting time of classes in schools will be 8:30 AM).” The website conceals the publishing date of all its stories but social media monitoring tool detected that this article started making the rounds on Facebook (FB) on Feb. 19.

The story’s content only talks about House Bill 569 or the proposed Adjusted Class Hours Act of 2019 filed by Bacolod City Rep. Greg Gasataya, which moves to push back the start of the school day to 8:30 a.m.

In his explanatory note, Gasataya says schools in the country commence classes at “7 o’ clock in the morning and sometimes even earlier.”

The report’s headline is doubly misleading as it makes it appear that the move is a recent one. Gasataya filed the measure on July 1, 2019 and it has been pending with the House Committee on Basic Education and Culture since July 23, 2019, according to the official website of Congress.

The misleading article started circulating on social media two days after the Senate on Feb. 17 passed on third and final reading a bill seeking to institutionalize values education into the K to 12 curriculum.

Possibly reaching over 1.6 million netizens, traffic to The Asian Policy’s misleading report largely came from FB pages Duterte Today and Bicol Today and FB group LET Reviewer Online Philippines.

The Asian Policy, created in August 2016, was flagged twice this week by VERA Files Fact Check for producing misleading stories. One was about former Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle leaving the “sinful church” of Manila for the Vatican and another one which insinuated that actress Angel Locsin “left” TV network ABS-CBN because of its ongoing franchise issues.

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