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FALSE: Aquino admin obtained 'secret' $500-million loan from World Bank

ClaimChismixphportal.info published an article titled “Secret Loan From (sic) WorldBank: The Reason Why They Don’t Want Duterte To Win!” on June 30, 2019. The blog post wrote two main claims.

First, the post claimed that the Aquino administration took a “secret” loan from the World Bank worth $500 million for rehabilitation after Super Typhoon Yolanda (Typhoon Haiyan) ravaged parts of the country in 2013.

Second, it said that the foreign debt (external debt) incurred under the Aquino administration in early 2016 was $77,658,912,000 and the estimated public debt (national debt) in 2016 was $163,934,972,678.

Rappler spotted the article through Trendolizer, a tool that tracks trending content on websites and social media. The claim circulated from June 30 to July 1, 2019, and it had been shared on Facebook 12 times by the following groups and pages:

Groups:

Pages:

As of writing, the link had 519 shares, 1,039 reactions, and 264 comments based on CrowdTangle data.

The article, however, is rehashed content from 2016. Rappler found an earlier version on the website Favradio Global (one.favradiofm.com) dated June 26, 2016. It cited two other websites as its sources: TRENDINGNEWSPHFILE (philippinesnewsportal2016.blogspot.com) and Worldinfographix (worldinfograpix.blogspot.com). The latter is not accessible anymore.

Rating: FALSE

The facts: The Aquino administration obtained a $500-million loan from World Bank in 2013, but this information was not hidden from the public. The debt figures cited by the blog were also inaccurate.

In November 2013, the World Bank approved a $500-million budget support loan to the Philippines for reconstruction and overall recovery from the onslaught of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). It was not a “secret” since the World Bank released a brief about it, and it was announced on local news reports.

Rappler published several reports about the loan, including when it was announced in November 2013 and when World Bank decided to double the amount a few days after.

Other local media agencies also published reports about the matter, including the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Philippine Star, and Manila Times.

Moreover, the blog was wrong to say that billions of dollars worth of debt was incurred “under the Aquino administration.” Economist JC Punongbayan explained it is wrong to attribute the entire country's debt to one administration as it is a "running total" of how much it still owes. (READ: FALSE: Pie chart of Philippines' national debt under 3 presidents)

As such, only the "net addition" or "net increase" to the debt should be considered since new debt is incurred at any point of time as old debt gets paid, according to Punongbayan.

The public debt figure cited in the blog was also lot higher than the official data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). The blog said that public or national debt stood at $163 billion in early 2016. BSP data, however, shows that the total debt of the country only ranged from $123 to $126 billion in the first 6 months of 2016.

 

Using these figures, however, the net increase in the country’s total debt under the Aquino administration from July 2010 to June 2016 was only P1.3 trillion, or $28.6 billion if converted using end-of-month foreign exchange rates in June 2016. – Pauline Macaraeg/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.