MISLEADING: Philippines now ‘number one fastest growing economy’
Claim: The Philippines is now the "number one fastest growing economy" supposedly based on the BBB rating from Fitch Ratings released on July 17.
The blog newspinas.xyz in their July 22 post ran the headline, “Wow!!! Pilipinas number one fastest growing economy na! Panoorin!”
The item was posted 10 times in different Facebook pages and groups. All of these accounted to a combined total of 520 interactions and 995,376 followers as of July 26.
The facts: The Philippines is only one among the fastest growing economies in Southeast Asia.
The thumbnail of the embedded video is a screenshot from a May 30, 2013 Bandila news report showing the country's 7.8% Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate in the first quarter of 2013.
In the first quarter of 2018, the Philippines' GDP growth rate was at 6.8%, behind Vietnam's 7.38%, and at par with China's 6.8%.
For the full year of 2017, the Philippines' GDP growth rate was at 6.7%, the 3rd fastest in the region behind China and Vietnam.
These were not mentioned in the post. It only had an embedded TOKHANG TV YouTube video with the same title uploaded on July 21. The video is a reupload of Radyo Pilipinas 738’s July 20 radio show which discussed the Fitch Ratings report.
In a July 17 press release, Fitch Ratings, a research organization focusing on debt and credit, rated the Philippines at “BBB with a Stable Outlook.”
This means the Philippines has a good record in repaying debts and obligations. Fitch Ratings also “expected” the country to “maintain strong growth of 6.8% in both 2019 and 2020, which would maintain the Philippines' place among the fastest-growing economies in the Asia-Pacific region.”
This rating does not mean that the Philippines is the “number one” fastest growing economy. Fitch assesses credit worthiness of a country. In turn, the rating is used by financial institutions or states if they will grant loans to the Philippines. The GDP growth is the key metric used to measure how fast an economy is growing.
TOKHANG TV has a record of uploading misleading and false videos which are used by “hoax” websites. One recent example is the claim that 186 mayors and governors lost their police escort.
The blog newspinaz.xyz was responsible for posting a false claim that “Anti-Tambay” operations reduced crime incidence nationwide. — Miguel Imperial, with reports from Ralf Rivas/Rappler.com
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