VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Video claiming Duterte to give Taal victims ‘P100k each’ MISLEADING

A reader asked VERA Files Fact Check to look into a video currently making the rounds on the Web claiming President Rodrigo Duterte will each give victims of the Taal volcano eruption P100,000.

The video is misleading.

Month-old YouTube channel Bagong Pilipinas TV uploaded Jan. 15 the four-and-a-half-minute-long video titled, “DUTERTE NAMIGAY NG MILYON MILYONG PERA SA MGA TAO NA TINAMAAN NG TAAL ERUPTION (Duterte gave millions to people affected by Taal eruption).”

Shared on Facebook, the headline now says: “DUTERTE MAMIMIGAY NG 100K KADA TAO NA TINAMAAN NG TAAL ERUPTION (Duterte to give 100k to each person affected by the Taal eruption).” Text on the video’s thumbnail reads: “NANDITO AKO PARA TUMULONG (I am here to help)” and “DU30: BIGYAN NG 100K KADA TAO (DU30: Give each person 100k).”

Bagong Pilipinas TV’s video is a composite of two clips: a 10-second video grabbed from a 29-minute footage of presidential broadcaster Radio Television Malacanang (RTVM) in December 2019 showing Duterte saying his presidency is a “God-given gift,” and a three-and-a-half-minute clip from RTVM’s coverage of Duterte’s 11-minute speech during his visit to the victims of the Taal eruption last Jan. 14.

In his speech, the president only speculated whether or not giving financial aid of P100,000 per individual would be enough. He said,

Pagkain, walang problema. Pera, walang problema. Tama siguro na… Magkano ba ang isa? One hundred thousand kada isang tao okay na ‘yan? Tulong? O sige. Tingnan natin (Food, no problem. Money, no problem. Maybe it’s enough that… How much for one person? One hundred thousand each, is that okay? Help? Alright. We will see).”

Duterte then said he allotted a total of P160 million as assistance to the victims of the calamity.

A National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council report on Jan. 15 — the same day Bagong Pilipinas TV published its misleading report — shows that the Office of the President only distributed cash assistance to 17 families, each getting P3,000. This, apart from handing out Family Food Packs to 499 families the same day.

Several news reports, on the other hand, show that the Department of Agriculture distributed the P160 million in the form of agriculture, fishery and livelihood assistance to affected farmers and fishermen.

Duterte would need about P11.3 billion if he were to follow through on his statement of giving P100,000 per individual, based on the latest Department of Social Welfare and Development data showing that 112,757 people displaced by the eruption are currently in evacuation centers across southern Luzon.

Bagong Pilipinas TV’s video, uploaded three days after the Taal volcano started spewing large volumes of ash and other volcanic material that reached surrounding cities, was viewed more than 90,000 times. It received over 226,000 interactions on FB and could have reached more than 1.5 million netizens.

Its top traffic generators from social media are FB groups Raffy Tulfo In Action Supporters‎, Tulfo Brothers Worldwide, and DUTERTE PARA SA BAYAN!.

Bagong Pilipinas TV was created on Dec. 21, 2019.

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