Posts falsely claim Philippine media 'did not report on progress of Marcos housing project'
False YouTube and Facebook posts with tens of thousands of views baselessly criticise Philippine media outlets for not reporting on the progress of a housing project in a Manila suburb under a flagship programme of President Ferdinand Marcos. In fact, multiple media organisations have been reporting on the project since at least November. The country's housing authority told AFP that the false posts had also exaggerated the number of units that are near completion.
The false claim was shared in a 10-minute video posted on YouTube, which has racked up more than 173,000 views since December 1.
The clip's Tagalog-language voiceover translates in part as: "This is the housing programme of President Marcos at Deparo, Caloocan City. Three thousand units are nearly finished under the National Housing Authority.
"However, the mainstream media is not reporting on this."
Deparo is a village in the Philippine city of Caloocan.
The video's caption states in part: "LENI HAS GOT NOTHING ON PBBM'S HOUSING PROGRAMME! 3K UNITS NEARLY COMPLETE, THE MEDIA IS NOT REPORTING ABOUT THIS?"
"Leni" refers to former vice president Leni Robredo, who lost the presidential vote in a landslide to Marcos in May this year.
"PBBM" refers to President "Bongbong" Marcos. The son of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos launched a landmark housing scheme in September and has said he wants to build a million low-cost homes every year until 2028.
The misleading YouTube video shows a clip originally uploaded on the Facebook page of state-run Radyo Pilipinas on November 25, which falsely reported "almost 3,000 housing units are nearly complete" in Deparo.
Radyo Pilipinas did not immediately respond to AFP's request for comment about their report.
The misleading YouTube clip also includes TikTok videos -- taken from pro-Marcos accounts here, here and here -- discussing housing units purportedly being built in Deparo, while also criticising Robredo.
Similar false posts were shared on Facebook here, here and here.
Comments on the posts show some social media users were misled by the claim.
"The mainstream media just seems to want to report irrelevant things or those that are negative in nature," wrote one.
"Thank you to the vloggers who shared the good news of the government's accomplishment," another commented.
However, as of December 19, 2022, none of the housing units in Deparo are near completion, according to Mathew Naral, senior engineer for the National Housing Authority (NHA) district office in Caloocan.
Naral said that 480 units were almost complete in nearby Bagumbong village, which is also in Caloocan.
"I don't know where the 3,000 figure came from," he said.
According to an NHA press release here, 2,340 units are planned for the project across three villages in Caloocan; consisting of 1,560 units in Deparo; 480 in Bagumbong; and 300 in Bagong Silang.
Multiple news organisations have reported on the construction of housing units in Caloocan, contrary to the claim in the posts.
On November 26, GMA News aired a report about the project on its evening news programme 24 Oras.
The segment's Tagalog-language title translates as, "480 of over 2,000 housing units inspected by NHA ready for occupancy."
Radyo Inquirer also reported on the housing development, while Journal News Online ran NHA's press release.
AFP has previously debunked a similar false claim that Philippine media did not report on the launch of Marcos's flagship housing programme.
December 23, 2022 This article was amended to correct punctuation in the headline