​VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Anti-Duterte blogger posts inaccurate claim on ‘Build, Build, Build’ project

(UPDATED) Jover Laurio, author of Pinoy Ako Blog (PAB), wrongly claimed in a July 1 post that a flood control project in Pampanga which partly eroded in June is under the Duterte administration’s "Build, Build, Build" program.

STATEMENT

Laurio’s post, "Ito Pala ang Build, Build, Build… (So this is the Build, Build, Build...)," carried screengrabs of a June 28 Reporter's Notebook episode on the June 19 erosion of almost a third of the P140 million dike in San Simon town, two days before its target completion date.

Laurio also included details of the project, which can be found in a tweet from the news program’s Twitter account:

Before signing off the post, which was written as an open letter to President Rodrigo Duterte, Laurio suggested to the chief executive that he change his program’s name from “build, build, build” to “collapse, collapse, collapse.”

FACT

The San Simon flood control project is not under the Duterte administration’s P9 trillion ($180 billion) Build, Build, Build infrastructure program.

The dike is a project of the Department of Public Works and Highways’ Region III office, and is being carried out by the DPWH Unified Project Management Office-Flood Control Management Cluster (UPMO-FCMC), which “undertakes project implementation…on water and sediment related disaster mitigation.”

This piece of information is captured in Reporter’s Notebook’s shot of the dike’s project billboard, a DPWH-mandated signage that provides information about public infrastructure projects:

Rehabilitation of Pampanga River Basin, Barangay San Nicolas, San Simon, Pampanga
Contractor: Fedstar Builders/D.L. Cervantes Const. (JV)
Date Started: November 24, 2017
Contract Completion Date: June 21, 2018
Contract Cost: P140,742,421.67
Implementing Office: UPMO-FCMC
Source of Fund: GAA 2017

Source: GMA Public Affairs.Reporter's Notebook: Flood control project sa San Simon, Pampanga, gumuho bago pa man matapos. (2018, June 29)

“(B)uild, Build, Build is...intergovernmental,” UPMO-FCMC public information officer Jerry Fano told Vera Files. “This San Simon flood control project is just purely a local DPWH project.”

The rehabilitation of the San Simon dike is not among the 75 Build, Build, Build projects listed in the website of the National Economic Development Authority nor among the 61 projects listed in the program’s official website.

From the 4,000-plus infrastructure projects listed in NEDA’s 2017-2022 Public Investment Program -- “the rolling list of programs and projects to be implemented by the government” -- the multitrillion-peso infrastructure initiative “fast-tracks” approval and implementation of 75 projects the administration sees would “boost economic growth” by making “markets and business opportunities” more accessible, NEDA said.

The ambitious infrastructure program is expected to create 1.7 million jobs, drive countryside investments, sustain growth and reduce poverty.

Ranging from “complex road networks, long-span bridges, flood control and urban water systems, (to) public transport, port, airport, and railway investments,” projects under the Build, Build, Build program include those that were started during previous administrations, such as the expansion of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport that began in 2010 under former president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III and the development of the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway, conceived in 1996 during former President Fidel V. Ramos’s term.

Laurio’s inaccurate post could have reached more than 401,000 people. It came a few days after Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said at a press briefing that Duterte wanted Build, Build, Build projects in the provinces "implemented faster."

The story's biggest traffic generators from social media are the Facebook pages PinoyAko Blog, Thinking Class of the Philippines and SenTrillanes Power. PinoyAko Blog was created in January 2017.

UPDATE: Jover Laurio, author of Pinoy Ako Blog, has taken down her post and apologized for the error. Read her statement here.

Sources:

Build.gov.ph, Build, Build, Build: Philippine Infrastructure Transparency Portal: Projects, n.d.

Department of Public Works and Highways, Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) - Flood Control Management Cluster, n.d.

GMA Public Affairs, Reporter's Notebook: Flood control project sa San Simon, Pampanga, gumuhobago pa man matapos, June 29, 2018.

Government Procurement Policy Board, UPDATED ANNUAL PROCUREMENT PLAN (APP) for Civil Works, n.d.

Jerry Fano, personal correspondence, July 3, 2018.

Mactan-Cebu-PH International Airport, Mactan-Cebu-PH International Airport, n.d.

National Economic Development Authority, Infrastructure Flagship Programs as of June 13, 2018, June 13, 2018.

National Economic Development Authority, Public Investment Program 2017-2022, n.d.

National Economic Development Authority, Socio Economic Report Chapter 19: Accelerating Infrastructure Development, March 28, 2018.

Philippine Information Agency, PGMA to break ground for P11-B Tarlac-La Union Toll Expressway, April 21, 2008.

@ReportersNBGMA7,Project: Concrete River Wall in Pampanga River, June 28, 2018

Presidential Communications Operations Office, Press Briefing of Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque, June 26, 2018.


(Guided by the code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, VERA Files tracks the false claims, flip-flops, misleading statements of public officials and figures, and debunks them with factual evidence. Find out more about this initiative and our methodology.)

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