COVID-19 Fact Checks

FALSE: Alert Level 3 raised in 30 areas

Rappler.com
FALSE: Alert Level 3 raised in 30 areas
Only Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan, Rizal, and Cavite are under Alert Level 3, and only until January 15, 2022
At a glance
  • Claim: A purported GMA News TV social media card circulated in chat groups, claiming that 30 areas would be placed under COVID-19 Alert Level 3 until January 30, 2022.
  • Rating: FALSE
  • The facts: Only Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan, Rizal, and Cavite are under Alert Level 3, and only until January 15.
  • Why we fact-checked this: The Department of Health (DOH) released a statement refuting the claim.
Complete details

A social media card allegedly from GMA News circulated, claiming that 30 areas across the country would be elevated to COVID-19 Alert Level 3.

This claim featured a supposed list of areas under Alert Level 3, bearing the logos of GMA News TV, GMA News and Public Affairs, and the Department of Health (DOH), and saying, “Alert level 3 areas, effective immediately until January 30, 2022.”

The areas supposedly included the cities of Baguio, Dagupan, La Trinidad, Manila, and Tuguegarao, as well as the provinces of Abra, Aklan, Bataan, Batangas, Benguet, Bulacan, Cagayan, Cavite, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Iloilo, Isabela, La Union, Laguna, Masbate, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, Palawan, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Quzeon, Rizal, Romblon, Tarlac, and the entire Davao Region.

This is false.

As of January 4, Resolution No. 155-A of the government’s coronavirus task force says it is only escalating Bulacan, Cavite, and Rizal to Alert Level 3, from January 5 to 15. The National Capital Region has been placed under Alert Level 3 from January 3 to 15. (READ: What do we need to know under alert level 3?)

GMA News TV or any other GMA News asset did not release any graphic card on social media making such an announcement.

GMA News clarified via Twitter that they did not produce any graphics listing 30 provinces that had been raised to Alert Level 3 status.

It said: “Graphics spreading on social media and messaging apps make unauthorized use of the logos of GMA News and GMA Public Affairs, and the old logo of the defunct GMA News TV. We also ask people to refrain from sharing the post, which we have reported to social media platforms.”

The DOH also released a public advisory on its social media accounts on Tuesday, January 4, to refute the claims that there were new Alert Level announcements.

Acting Presidential Spokesperson Karlo Nograles on December 30 initially announced that the entire country would remain under Alert Level 2.

But a day later, on December 31, following a surge in COVID-19 cases in the country, as well as new confirmations of Omicron variant cases, Nograles said the National Capital Region would be placed under Alert Level 3 from January 3 to 15.

On Tuesday, January 4, he announced that Bulacan, Cavite, and Rizal would also be placed under Alert Level 3. – Joseph B.A. Marzan, Joann Manabat, and Owenh Toledo/Rappler.com

Joseph B.A. Marzan is a Visayas-based journalist from Iloilo City and is a recipient of the Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship.

Joann Manabat is a Luzon-based journalist and an awardee of the Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship.

Owenh Toledo is a graduate of Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program.

This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program here.

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