Fact checks about gov't agencies

MISSING CONTEXT: Tagaytay Skate Park an achievement of DPWH

MISSING CONTEXT: Tagaytay Skate Park an achievement of DPWH
The photo Public Works Secretary Mark Villar used to show Tagaytay Skate Park is outdated and does not accurately portray the condition of the entire park, particularly its street section, which has been deteriorating
At a glance
  • Claim: Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar shared a photo of Tagaytay Skate Park with a caption attributing the Build Build Build Program to its completion.
  • Rating: MISSING CONTEXT
  • The facts: The photo Villar used to show Tagaytay Skate Park is outdated and does not accurately portray the condition of the entire park, particularly its street section, which has been deteriorating.
  • Why we fact-checked this: A reader emailed this claim to Rappler for verification. Villar’s photo of Tagaytay Skate Park has been circulating on social media with media organizations like GMA News, GO Cavite, and Manila Bulletin carrying the photo. Netizens have also been sharing it to praise the construction and quality of the skatepark.
Complete details

On August 18, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar shared on his Facebook page a photo of Tagaytay Skate Park, the biggest skatepark in the Philippines according to the Skateboarding and Roller Sports Association of the Philippines, Inc. in 2019.

His caption states, “DPWH has completed several sports facilities, including this skateboard park in Tagaytay.” He then attributed the Tagaytay Skate Park to the Build Build Build Program through hashtags.

Villar’s photo was later carried by other Facebook pages and shared by netizens. On August 20, 14 posts were made on different Facebook pages and public groups to share the photo used by Villar. All 14 posts contained the same graphic showing Villar’s photo of the skatepark. Then on August 31, 40 posts were made to commend the construction and quality of the skatepark.

Villar’s photo has also been shared by the Facebook page of GMA News and GO Cavite, while Manila Bulletin carried a news story about it.

This lacks context.

Villar’s photo does not accurately portray the condition of the whole park as of September 1, 2021. The photo is outdated and mainly shows the bowl section of the skatepark.

Bowl section as of September 1, 2021.
Jerome Sagcal/Rappler

Though the current condition of the bowl section is not largely different from what was depicted in Villar’s photo, the street section of the park has been visibly deteriorating. Villar’s photo barely reveals the street section as it was only in the background.

Street section of Tagaytay Skate Park as of December 15, 2019.
JC Punongbayan
Street section of Tagaytay Skate Park as of September 1, 2021.
Jerome Sagcal/Rappler
Street section of Tagaytay Skate Park as of September 1, 2021.
Jerome Sagcal/Rappler
Street section of Tagaytay Skate Park as of September 1, 2021.
Jerome Sagcal/Rappler

Photos captured by Rappler show the current condition of the Tagaytay Skate Park, particularly its street section which is located at the center of Tagaytay City Track Oval. Visible damage can be seen all over the structures, with some of the floorings either already removed or visibly deteriorating. 

Damaged kicker and flat.
Jerome Sagcal/Rappler

Damage can be observed in a kicker, a short upward ramp, at the center portion. Wooden floorings have also been removed from the kicker and the flat, exposing the steel skeleton underneath. 

Damaged bank in upper right portion.
Jerome Sagcal/Rappler

This is also the same for the bank in the upper right portion where the removal of the wooden floorings extends to the flat.

Wooden flooring was removed from the deck of quarter pipes at the left portion.
Jerome Sagcal/Rappler

A wooden flooring has also been removed from the deck of the quarter pipes at the left portion. A deck is the flat portion on top of pipes.

Damaged quarter pipes on the right portion.
Jerome Sagcal/Rappler
Damaged quarter pipes on the right portion.
Jerome Sagcal/Rappler

At the quarter pipes on the right portion of the street section, there is noticeable damage in the wooden panels, with a piece of the quarter pipe detached from the rest. A local skateboarder confirmed to Rappler that the detached quarter pipe was not separated when the park was in its earlier condition.

Damaged ramps.
Jerome Sagcal/Rappler

Sheet metal on the bottom of ramps have also been detached or completely removed. These sheets are supposed to help skaters get on the ramp and accelerate as they ascend.

Rappler spoke with Cavite-based skateboarders to comment on these photos. They did not recommend skating at the street section of the skatepark and even considered doing so unsafe due to the damaged floorings.

BMX trail roofing under construction.
Jerome Sagcal/Rappler
BMX trail roofing under construction.
Jerome Sagcal/Rappler

Villar’s photo was also clearly taken during an earlier time as there is currently roofing under construction for the BMX trail beside the bowl section of the skatepark. This construction was not visible in Villar’s photo.

Tagaytay Skate Park has mostly been closed to the public due to the pandemic. Several executive orders and memoranda from the city mayor had prohibited the use of outdoor sports venues and limited exercising to the respective barangays of Tagaytay residents.

The skatepark was opened on limited hours during September 2020 due to Cavite being downgraded to Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ), but the park has since been closed again.

The Tagaytay Skate Park was completed by the end of November 2019, just a few days before it was used for the 2019 Southeast Asian Games skateboarding events from December 3 to 8, 2019. – Jerome Sagcal/Rappler.com

Jerome Sagcal is a graduate of Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program and an awardee of the Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship. 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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