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FACT CHECK: Video on ‘bridge without a river’ lacks context


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FACT CHECK: Video on ‘bridge without a river’ lacks context
The DPWH had justified its construction, saying that the area is prone to liquefaction. Also, bridges, such as overpasses, are not just for bodies of water.

Claim: The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) built a P23-million bridge in Bontoc, Southern Leyte even without a river beneath it. 


Why we fact-checked this: The video posted on Facebook features a rehashed claim previously mentioned in a graphic that circulated on social media back in 2020.

The video, which has 57,000 reactions, 5,600 shares, 2,300 comments, and 1.1 million views as of writing, shows clips of alleged questionable projects built during the administration of former president Benigno Aquino III.

The facts: While the Buenavista Slab Bridge was built even without a river beneath it, the DPWH justified its construction, saying that the area is prone to liquefaction. This refers to a phenomenon in which soil loses its strength and stiffness, making solid soil behave like a viscous liquid – deforming easily, and causing structures above it to be damaged due to loss of support. 

The bridge, completed in 2015, was built as a solution to the recurring problem of repairing a particular section of Bato-Bontoc road that was prone to collapsing. The DPWH also said that constructing the bridge saved millions of pesos worth of road repairs.

Spliced video: The Facebook video shows a spliced version of a 2019 report from GMA’s news show 24 Oras. The clip omitted the portion where the DPWH explained the purpose of the bridge.

The full video explains that the road on which the bridge was built had already collapsed thrice due to the soft soil underneath. The report also featured a resident who attested to the recurring problem in that part of the road.

Not only for rivers: In a 2016 report, then-DPWH Southern Leyte district engineer Ma. Margarita Junia told Rappler that bridges are not just for bodies of water. She said that an overpass is also a bridge even with no river beneath it. She also cited Agas-agas bridge in Sogod, Southern Leyte, which connects roads on two mountains. – Ailla Dela Cruz/Rappler.com

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