Marcos Fact Checks

FALSE: JICA, Philippines to use Ferdinand Marcos’ blueprints for highway masterplan

FALSE: JICA, Philippines to use Ferdinand Marcos’ blueprints for highway masterplan
The new highway masterplan is an update to the first one created by JICA and the Philippines in 2010. President Diosdado Macapagal was the first president to come up with an idea of an inter-island highway system in 1965.
At a glance
  • Claim: The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Philippines will use dictator and former president Ferdinand Marcos’ blueprints for a new highway masterplan.
  • Rating: FALSE
  • The facts: The new highway masterplan is an update to the first one created by JICA and the Philippines in 2010.
  • Why we fact-checked this: The post has over 33,000 reactions, 2,900 comments, and 10,000 shares on Facebook, as of writing.
Complete details

A post published on December 2 by the Facebook page “Rosario, La Union Government” falsely claims that the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Philippines will implement the blueprints of President Ferdinand Marcos in its new highway masterplan.

The caption of the post reads, “Japan & Philippines to implement the Original Blueprint of President Marcos. A vision of Apo Lakay to connect the entire Philippines via High Speed Highway is now being realized.” A photo of a blueprint is also included in the post.

The post has over 33,000 reactions, 2,900 comments, and 10,000 shares on Facebook, as of writing.

This claim is false. 

The High Standard Highway Network Development Master Plan (Phase 2) is an update to the first masterplan created by JICA and the Philippines in 2010. The blueprint shown in the post is for the new masterplan posted in JICA’s official Facebook page

PhilStar Global and the Philippines News Agency both reported that JICA and the Department of Public Works and Highways held a turnover ceremony for the completion of the new masterplan at DPWH Central Office on November 29. 

The new masterplan is aimed at expanding the 2010 masterplan that was originally conducted within the 200-kilometer radius of Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, and Metro Davao. It proposes to construct 4,400 kilometers of high standard highways and 4,600 kilometers of regional highways.

The Philippines started developing its highway network after the Philippine Highway Act was signed in 1953. According to JICA, construction of the Philippine-Japan Friendship Highway began in 1960. It was the longest continuous highway at that time. Marcos was president from 1965 to 1986.

President Diosdado Macapagal was the first president to come up with an idea of an inter-island highway system in 1965. He called it the Pan-Philippine Highway. President  Marcos continued Macapagal’s project, eventually renaming it Maharlika Highway through Presidential Proclamation No. 1902.

Although claiming to be a Facebook page for the local government of Rosario, La Union, the Facebook page “Rosario, La Union Government” mainly posts content relating to presidential aspirant Bongbong Marcos. – Lorenz Dantes Pasion/Rappler.com

Lorenz Dantes Pasion is a Rappler intern. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s internship program here.

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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