VERA FILES FACT CHECK: UP budget NOT slashed by P2.5B ‘after recent protests’ 


A YouTube video falsely claims that President Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos and Vice President Sara Duterte cut P2.5 billion from the University of the Philippines’ (UP) 2023 budget after recent protests at the Diliman campus.

The government had finalized the UP system’s 2023 budget before the protests shown in the video took place and only reduced it by P128.4 million, not P2.5 billion.

Uploaded on April 6, the six-minute and 16-second video bore the headline: 

Matapos MANGGULO ang Tinig ng Plaridel | VP SARA at PBBM, TINANGGALAN ng ₱2.5 BILLION PONDO ang UP (After the Tinig ng Plaridel caused chaos | VP SARA and PBBM, stripped P2.5 BILLION FUNDS from UP)!!” 

Its thumbnail featured images of Marcos and Duterte with a screenshot from a 2022 Philippine Collegian article on the Department of Budget and Management’s (DBM) previous proposal to slash 2.5 billion from the national university’s budget. 

The video started with a clip from Tinig ng Plaridel’s tweet showing students hounding Edgardo Carlo Vistan II after he was appointed as the 12th UP Diliman Chancellor on April 3. A narrator further claimed that this “chaos done by the leftist group” prompted Marcos and Duterte to slash billions from the university’s funding. 

The narrator then read a similar news report about the proposed budget cut.

The UP system’s 2023 budget was finalized before the protests against Vistan’s selection happened. Marcos signed the General Appropriations Act of 2023 on Dec. 16, 2022 amounting to P5.268 trillion. Of the total national budget, a little over P24.26 billion is allocated for the UP System, just P128.4 million lower than last year’s budget

The erroneous video came out three days after the UP Board of Regents appointed Vistan as Chancellor. Student groups openly criticized the selection process while several faculty members issued an open letter to UP president Angelo Jimenez asking him to explain his vote for Vistan.

This is not the first time that VERA Files Fact Check debunked false claims related to UP’s 2023 budget. (Read VERA FILES FACT CHECK: UP budget slashed by P2.5B NOT yet final

The video posted by the YouTube channel Showbiz Fanaticz (created on Nov. 9, 2017) has 44,709 views as of writing. Several Facebook pages and groups also circulated a blog link bearing the same false video.

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