Fact check - gov't services/laws

FACT CHECK: Offers for emergency loan posted by fake Malasakit Center page

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FACT CHECK: Offers for emergency loan posted by fake Malasakit Center page
In a public advisory, the health department warns against a Facebook page ‘maliciously’ claiming to be a 'loan center' of the Malasakit Program Office

Claim: Malasakit Centers, the government’s one-stop shop for medical services, are offering emergency loans for hospital bills. 

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The claim was made on December 15 in a Facebook post with 24 reactions, 83 comments, and six shares as of writing. 

The post claims that Malasakit Centers are offering P30,000 emergency loans with an interest rate of 1% to pay for hospital bills. 

Interested applicants are instructed to send a private message to the Facebook page “Malasakit Center Loan Assistance,” which claims to be a loan center of the Malasakit Center program office. The page has 1,200 followers and likes as of writing.

The facts: The post was made by a fake page. In a January 9 advisory, the Department of Health (DOH) warned the public against the page “maliciously using the Malasakit Program Office’s [name] on false loan centers.” 

“The said page is FAKE, and is not in any way or form affiliated with the Malasakit Center,” the DOH said. 

Malasakit Center: The Malasakit Program Office is an office under the DOH that manages and oversees the operations of Malasakit Centers, which serve as one-stop hubs in government hospitals providing medical and financial aid for those in need and unable to afford medical services.

Through the centers, patients no longer have to leave hospital premises to avail themselves of assistance provided by PhilHealth, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Patients may request assistance for medical services and products, hospital bills, and financial assistance for transportation, food, and burial expenses, among others. The centers do not offer emergency loans.

The program was launched in 2018, and the law ordering the establishment of Malasakit Centers in every government hospital was signed by former president Rodrigo Duterte in 2019. 

For legitimate information on Malasakit Centers, visit the official website of the DOH and the Malasakit Program Office. – Chinie Ann Jocel R. Mendoza/Rappler.com

Chinie Ann Jocel R. Mendoza is a Rappler Intern, under the Research Unit. She is a fourth-year Communication Research student at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines Sta. Mesa Manila.

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. 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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