At a glance
- Claim: Manila Electric Company (Meralco) and Manila Water are giving poor families P10,000 each as assistance for payment of utility bills.
- Rating: FALSE
- The facts: The announcement did not come from the official channels of the companies.
- Why we fact-checked this: Facebook’s monitoring tool flagged the link containing this claim for verification. Comments on the fake advisory show that readers left their personal details.
Website new-updates-worldwide.blogspot.com falsely claims that utility companies Manila Electric Company (Meralco) and Manila Water are giving poor families P10,000 each as financial aid for payment of their bills.
The comments section shows that unwitting readers have left their personal information on the website, such as names, addresses, and contact details.
The dubious website posted the advisory on May 4. Data from social media monitoring tool CrowdTangle show that the link has been shared to at least 299 Facebook groups as of Thursday, June 17, and has accumulated at least 71,000 combined Facebook interactions.
Claim Check, Facebook’s tool that identifies potentially dubious posts shared on the platform, flagged the link for fact checkers to verify. The tool says Facebook users have viewed the link over 397,100 times.
This claim is false.
Both Meralco and Manila Water have not announced anything about giving away P10,000 to families. The website new-updates-worldwide.blogspot.com is not affiliated with the two companies.
There are also no news reports about the supposed financial aid from the two companies. Instead, Meralco announced on June 11 that its rates increased by P0.0798 per kilowatt-hour in June due to tight supply conditions in the Luzon grid. (READ: Thin power supply pushes Meralco rates up in June 2021)
Meanwhile, Manila Water announced that the company entered into a new concession agreement with the Philippine government on March 31. Consumers are expected to pay less for their water bills as the concession agreement removes provisions that allow Manila Water to charge consumers for corporate income taxes and forex adjustments. (READ: Lower rates seen in new Manila Water, gov’t deal)
In March 2020, Rappler debunked a similar claim that said Meralco and Maynilad Water had waived their billings due to the pandemic. – Pauline Macaraeg/Rappler.com
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