MISLEADING: Duterte admin ‘keeping’ 99.6% of foreign aid

Rappler.com
MISLEADING: Duterte admin ‘keeping’ 99.6% of foreign aid
COA only flags the administration for an undrawn 99.6% of foreign aid

Claim: State auditors discovered that the Duterte administration is keeping 99.6% of foreign aid. 

In 2018, Facebook user Jaizy Jakosalem posted a screenshot showing the headline of an article written by an Israel Blaza about 99.6% of foreign aid being kept by the Duterte administration. A screenshot of a graphic showing the breakdown of foreign assistance for Marawi accompanied the screenshot of the headline. 

The caption of his post read:

“Marawi funds na perang donated ng iba’t-ibang bansa, nasaan na? Hanggang ngayon wasak at gutom pa rin ang mga Pilipino sa Marawi City. Habang and mga namumuno sa Administration ni Duterte at siya mismo ay may mga personal and business savings account sa ibang bansa at shopping – shopping na lang kasama ang kani-kanilang mga familia sa ibang bansa.”

(Marawi funds donated by different countries, where are they? Until now Filipinos in Marawi are still devastated and hungry. While authorities in the Duterte administration and he himself have personal and business savings accounts abroad and shopping – they are just shopping with their families abroad.)

Jakosalem’s post has garnered 362 reactions, 21 comments, and 1,600 shares, as of writing. Rappler spotted the post via Facebook Claim Check, Facebook’s fact checking tool that collates potential hoaxes for fact checkers’ review.

Rating: MISLEADING

The facts: The COA did not say the Duterte administration is “keeping” 99.6% of foreign aid for Marawi. What the COA did flag in its 2017 audit is the administration’s failure to utilize P74.55 billion (or 99.6%) out of a total P74.85 billion in Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan commitments from foreign lenders.

This huge undrawn balance, according to government auditors, resulted in accumulated commitment fees amounting to P230.17 million.

UNDRAWN FOREIGN AID. COA's Consolidated Report on Official Development Assistance Programs and Projects in 2017 highlights the Duterte administration's undrawn 99.6% of foreign aid

Section 2 of RA 8182 says that ODA is a loan or grant contracted with foreign governments with whom the Philippines has diplomatic, trade relations, or bilateral agreements. It typically contains a grant element of at least 25%, or the percentage of reduction enjoyed by the borrower in debt service payments. 

The COA also flagged underutilization of donations for the Marawi conflict. In its 2018 report, the COA called the attention of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) for spending only P10,000 out of P36.9 million in donations.

In 2017, the local government of Marawi was flagged for using only P10.26 million of the P39.7 million worth of donations from local sources.

Meanwhile, the figures listed on the graphic of foreign assistance for the Marawi conflict are indeed the tally of figures donated to the Philippines, in September 2017. (READ: Foreign assistance for Marawi now at P2.1 billion)

The article with Blaza’s byline was published on the website Taxial.com. Vera Files previously fact checked the article in September 2018; the article is, however, no longer accessible on the website.

Aside from its misleading headline, the article, according to Vera Files’ fact check, copied 5 of 17 paragraphs of a GMA News Online report.

Jaizy Jakosalem, the Facebook user who posted the claim, usually posts criticisms against the Duterte administration and his supporters. – Addie Pobre/Rappler.com

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time

 

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