​VERA FILES FACT CHECK: FB page MISLEADS on nat’l ID registration info

A month-old Facebook (FB) page that purports to give “news” posted on Aug. 9 a misleading advisory about the upcoming registration for the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys). It also invited readers to click on a fake link supposedly leading to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) website.

Philippine News - Update’s dubious post told netizens that beginning September, Filipinos can start applying for their national ID card under PhilSys. It then gave a list of supporting identification documents that the public may bring for their application.

It signed off on its post with:

“FOR MORE INFO PLEASE VISIT THE PSA WEBSITE.
LINK: http://-thacorag.-com-/2y4I (JUST REMOVE THE DASH (-) )
#DONTFORGETOLIKETHEPAGE”

The government will indeed pilot test the ID system. But the registration set for September is only "to test the registration system and process" and will only cover “select groups,” according to an Aug. 13 PSA advisory.

According to a June 19 news article by the Philippine Information Agency, “Phase 1 implementation of the National ID System” will be held from September to December 2019 with “initial PhilSys mass registration for general population” to be conducted in “Valenzuela City, Boracay in Region 6, 2nd District of Negros Oriental, and Davao City.”

“The PSA will issue a subsequent public advisory once the process and systems are ready for mass registration,” the advisory said, and provided links to the official PSA website and PhilSys Facebook page.

It also warns netizens of unofficial and unauthorized online pages that give announcements about PhilSys, listing down five accounts that have done so. This does not include so far Philippine News - Updates.

The URL that Philippine News - Updates posted also does not lead to PSA’s website. Instead, it opens to a website called “larati.net” and features a full-page advertisement on making a profit from a “travel business.”

Philippine News - Update’s misleading online post has been shared over 161,000 times, received over 230,000 reactions and more than 33,000 comments. It was published about a month before the scheduled PhilSys registration in September.

Philippine News - Update was created July 8.



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

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