FACT CHECK: Viral Facebook Post Claims To Show Manila Bay Before And During The Duterte Administration

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

A viral Facebook post shared over 600 times allegedly shows Manila Bay before and during the administration of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

Verdict: Misleading

Both photos were taken during Duterte’s administration.

Fact Check: 

The Facebook post uses the two pictures in an attempt to compare the cleanliness of Manila Bay prior to Duterte’s administration and during it. The top picture depicts a beach covered in trash, while the bottom one features a clean beach with people on it.

“MANILA BAY BEFORE AND CURRENTLY WITH PRES. DUTERTE’S ADMINISTRATION,” reads the Facebook post. “LOOK AT THE DIFFERENCE.” (RELATED: Did Joe Biden Threaten To ‘Cancel All US Visas To Be Issued In The Philippines’?)

Duterte has served as president of the Philippines since late June 2016, according to BBC News. A reverse image search traced the top photo back to July 2018, when the state-run Philippine News Agency posted it on its website.

“Tons of garbage washes ashore Manila Bay along Roxas Boulevard due to the southwest monsoon or habagat on Sunday (July 15, 2018),” reads the Philippine News Agency’s caption of the picture. “Garbage is still a major problem in the Manila Bay even as government personnel haul truckloads of trash during cleanup.”

Like the top photo, the bottom image in the Facebook post was also taken during Duterte’s presidency. It can be found on the website of the Philippines-based outlet ABS-CBN News, where the description says it shows “a view of the ‘white sand’ project in Manila Bay as it temporarily opens to public on September 19, 2020.” The Philippine government brought in crushed dolomite to create a stretch of white sand beach in Manila Bay as part of a beautification project, according to ABS-CBN News.

Manila Bay’s waters are often polluted with trash, oil and other items, according to Reuters. For example, over 40 tons of trash were collected in early 2019 as part of a clean-up effort, the Straits Times reported.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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