Fact check - gov't services/laws

FALSE: OVP’s Bayanihan E-Konsulta program gathers voters’ info, precinct numbers

Rappler.com
FALSE: OVP’s Bayanihan E-Konsulta program gathers voters’ info, precinct numbers
Bayanihan E-Konsulta only asks for relevant patient information to help link patients to volunteer doctors or the services appropriate for their need
At a glance
  • Claim: Vice President Leni Robredo’s free teleconsultation service Bayanihan E-Konsulta collects voter information, including precinct numbers.
  • Rating: FALSE
  • The facts: No precinct numbers or other voter data is collected in the consultation. Bayanihan E-Konsulta only asks for relevant patient information to help link patients to volunteer doctors or the services appropriate for their need.
  • Why we fact-checked this: As of writing, the claim has garnered 210 retweets, 53 likes, and more than 200 comments on Twitter. The claim also circulated on Facebook.
Complete details

Social media posts on Sunday, January 9, claimed that the Bayanihan E-Konsulta program is gathering personal voter information, including precinct numbers. 

Bayanihan E-Konsulta, launched by the Office of the Vice President (OVP) and now presidential aspirant Leni Robredo, is a free teleconsultation service on Facebook and Messenger for outpatient cases in Metro Manila and nearby provinces. It operates with the help of volunteer doctors and health professionals.

The post supposedly warned netizens against this program: “WARNING ! Ung TeleKonsukta ni Madumb is just gathering personal information ng voters. Ingat kayo. Desperate move.” (Warning: The TeleKonsulta by Madumb is just gathering personal information of voters. Take care, everyone. Desperate move.) 

Another user reposted a screenshot of the post and added, “Yup, tinatanong pa ang precinct number. (Yes, they are even asking for precinct numbers.)

As of writing, the claim has garnered 210 retweets, 53 likes, and more than 200 comments on Twitter. The Facebook post has been deleted after Vice President Robredo herself called out the disinformation.

This claim is false. 

No precinct number or other voter data is collected in the teleconsultation. Bayanihan E-Konsulta’s Facebook Messenger only asks for relevant patient information – such as name, gender, age, birthday, patient location, contact number, and chief complaint – in its registration and screening to help link patients to its volunteer doctors or the services appropriate for them. 

The platform also directs patients to read the privacy policy and seeks their consent before they are contacted by the volunteer doctors or program services.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday, January 11,  Robredo posted screenshots of the claim alleging that Bayanihan E-Konsulta service was being used as a tool for the upcoming elections in May 2022. (READ: Robredo hits fake news peddlers: ‘Unforgivable’ to spread lies during pandemic)

“We do not ask for precinct numbers. Anyone can try our Bayanihan e-Konsulta page. We cater to everyone. Walang pinipili (no one is excluded),” she added. 

The registration process does not ask about one’s political affiliation because that is “not relevant data,” Robredo also stressed in a press conference on Tuesday. 

Bayanihan E-Konsulta is so far available for outpatient cases in Metro Manila and nearby provinces that have limited resources and access to doctors, in order to help fill the gaps in the public health care system during the pandemic. The program was launched in April 2021, months before Vice President Robredo announced her bid for the presidency.

This isn’t the first time that false information about the OVP’s Bayanihan E-Konsulta program made rounds on social media. Rappler debunked a claim in May 2021 that the initiative was shut down – Jene-Anne Pangue/Rappler.com

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.