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Is Duterte offering P250K capital for returning OFWs? Registration site is not reliable but here’s what we know

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A Facebook page shared a website claiming to be a registration site for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who want to avail of the P250,000 puhunan package.

On June 30, “Sen. Manny Pacquiao Trending News Today” page shared the website balitangofw2.ml, which has been shared over 700 times, as of writing.

The page even re-shared the post on July 9.

And of course, the comments poured in as OFWs are hoping to qualify for the package.

But is President Duterte really offering P250,000 as capital for OFWs and their families who want to come back home?

As what the title of the post said, “Kung pagod kana sa abroad, umuwi kana ng Pilipinas! 250,000 para sa OFW at kaanak dito sa Pilipinas. Please share!” it does seem that way, especially when coupled with the President’s photo. The comments section filled with thank yous for the President Duterte also showed that it is how they understood the post – that Duterte is giving away P250,000 for OFWs.

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However, we could not find a specific program under the Duterte administration that specifically offers OFWs or their families P250,000 in capital. What we found instead are programs from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) that would allow OFWs or their families in the Philippines to borrow money to start a business.

For one, we found this February 2017 article from Bandera about an OFW’s wife asking for advice about what possible loans that she can avail of to open a business and an OWWA officer responded that indeed there are available loans. The officer said that there is P2 billion allotted for the OWWA OFW Reintegration program for those who want to get into business. This is partnership with the Development Bank of the Philippines and the Land Bank of the Philippines.

The loan program aims to help OFWs and their families back home. They can loan around P300,000 to P2,000,000 with a 7.% annual interest rate. Payment can be monthly, quarterly or annually, depending on the business cash flow. But the most important thing to note here is where you can apply. Loan applications can only be processed at the OWWA Regional Welfare Office (ORW), not through a random registration website.

To avail of the loan, you need to be an active OWWA member who finished the Entrepreneurial Development Training from the NRCO and OWWA ORWs in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry, Philippine Trade Training Center, and Bureau of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development (BSMED). Those who are interested may visit this site: www.owwa.gov.ph

Did it say there that you can go to balitangofw2.ml, the website promoted by the Facebook fan page, to avail of a loan for business? No, it didn’t.

We found out more about the program, which turned out to be called the Enterprise Development and Loan Program (EDLP) for returning OFWs. The borrower must provide 20% equity. The business must generate an income of not lower than P10,000. Target borrowers include OFWs who are active or even inactive OWWA members and who are working abroad or returned to the Philippines in the past three years.

After visiting Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain, President Duterte joked about setting aside P50 million for the repatriated OFWs, but later said that he was merely joking to get rid of his sleepiness. He said, though, that the Philippine government will give these OFWs enough capital to start their own business or teach them enough skills. He also advised them to go to their regional Department of Trade and Industry. Again, the President did not mention any balitangofw2.ml as the website that OFWs must consult with.

And when you click on the link, you will find this pop-up ad that will only raise false hope.

If you’re an OFW looking for some capital for a potential business, then go to the regional offices of OWWA and DTI nearest you and ask for guidance on how to apply for a loan. Avoid random websites that will only give you false hope. Consult only with authorized centers and people to talk about money and business that might help you start earning enough so you won’t have to go back to working abroad.

Here’s one success story, as published on February 1, 2016 by OWWA, that you can read for inspiration. You can also learn more about the OWWA loan program here.

Sources: ( philstar.com , abante-tonite.com , dti.gov.ph , abante.com.ph , remate.ph )

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Busted: Robredo wants to add years to the K-to-12 program? It’s fake news!

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Vice President Leni Robredo’s office released a statement debunking social media posts claiming that she wants to add a few more years to the K-to-12 program. This came after several posts started circulating about how Robredo allegedly said that she wanted to add a few more years to the K-to-12 program, angering netizens.

A certain tweet on March 1, 2020 showed the vice president’s photo along with these words: “Kulang ang K to 12 education system natin. Kelangan apat na taon sa Junior HS at apat na taon sa Senior HS.”

In January 17, the same image shared to the Facebook page “Raffy Tulfo In Action Supporters” also got shared over 6,000 times and triggered negative comments among the netizens.

Many social media users have lambasted Robredo over the said meme.

The unwarranted bashing and adverse reactions prompted her office to release an official statement debunking this false claim.

“Hindi totoong pinadadagdagan ni VP Leni Robredo ang mga taon sa K-to-12 program,” said the vice president’s office in a statement.

“Suportado ng Bise Presidente kung sakaling magkaroon ng review ng nasabing programa. Binibigyang-diin niya na kailangang siguraduhin na may tamang facilities at equipment ang mga specialized tracks, para mas maging madali ang pagtuturo nito at matiyak ang kahandaang makapagtrabaho ng mga mag-aaral sa kanilang pagtatapos,” it added.

In October 2019, Robredo did say that she was alright with reviewing how the K-to-12 program to determine how it could be further improved.

“Tumutugon rin ang kaniyang Tanggapan, kasama ang #AngatBuhay partners nito, sa pangangailangan ng tamang kagamitan. Nakapagbigay na ng kaukulang tools at equipment sa mga mahihirap na paaralan, gaya sa Mulanay sa Quezon, Panglao sa Bohol, at Sta. Maria sa Romblon,” the statement further said.

This is not the first time Robredo has been a victim of fake news. There were false claims, misleading headlines, and edited images or captions about how former Senator Bongbong Marcos has already won over Robredo, how she met former UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to oust President Rodrigo Duterte, or how her portrait was sold on eBay, something that a popular blogger apologized for.

Sources: ( inquirer.net , news.mb.com.ph )

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Busted: Walang kasalanan ang Tulfo brothers ayon sa imbestigasyon? It’s a misleading headline!

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An article has claimed that an investigation has found the Tulfo brothers to be not guilty. It says, “Lumabas Sa Imbestigasyon Na Walang Kasalanan Ang Tulfo Brothers,” as published by the website phworkit.top.

The story was even shared by Facebook pages “Ferdinand Emmanual Edralin Marcos” and “Rody Duterte MEDIA.”

However, the article merely contained a 10-minute YouTube video, which was a mix several video clips of different reports, some parts of which touched on the issues involving the P60 million tourism ads that aired on the PTV program of Teo’s brothers, the Tulfos.

One of the video clips showed that the CNN Philippines reported on why nepotism is considered corruption and abused of authority in the case of now-resigned Tourism Secretary Wanda and how her husband, Roberto Teo, served as the board member of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA). But Roberto was appointed by former President Benigno Aquino III and has tendered his resignation from TIEZA effective June 30, 2018.

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Another video clip showing a CNN Philippines report of a Malacañang press briefing, where a reporter asked Presidential Spokesperon Harry Roque if Communications Secretary Martin Andanar would be among those investigated in the controversial placement of P60 million worth of tourism ads on the program of the Tulfos, who are Teo’s brothers, leading people to raise the issue of conflict of interest. As the PCOO chief, he also supervises the state-run PTV-4, where the Tulfos’ programs are a blocktimer.

Asked by yet another reporter what President Rodrigo Duterte’s comment was on the issue with the DOT and the Tulfos, Roque said that he did not know then because he had not talked to the President for a while and the investigation conducted by the Office of the President was ongoing then.

The headline used in the video is misleading. It meant to make people think that the Tulfo brothers have been cleared from the issue involving them with the controversial P60-million tourism ad deal.

However, reports showed that even after Teo resigned from her post on May 7, the Ombudsman will still continue with the probe into the scandal. The body requested from the Commission on Audit (COA) a copy of its DOT report involving the controversial P60-million worth of payments for ads aired on PTV on May 8. The investigation is still ongoing, which meant that they it has not yet cleared the Tulfos.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea is also said to be investigating the scandal to determine the officials at fault at the DOT, People’s Television Network Inc. (PTNI), and the PCOO.

Ramon Tulfo, an Inquirer columnist, came out in the defense of his sister Teo and blamed  his younger brother Ben Tulfo for the controversy.

Party-list group Akbayan, however, said it was not enough for Teo to step down from her post. They wanted her to be prosecuted.

“The simple firing or resignation of corrupt officials will not put a stop to corruption in the government if this is not followed by swift prosecution and conviction,” the group said in a statement.

Akbayan also challenged President Duterte to file cases against Ben and Erwin Tulfo over the controversial ad transaction. Ben owns Bitag Media, which produced the PTV show “Kilos Pronto,” the program where the DOT ads were aired. His brother, Erwin, co-hosts the show with him.

Sources: ( newsinfo.inquirer.ne , thestandard.com.ph , cnnphilippines.com , rappler.com , news.abs-cbn.com , businessmirror.com.ph )

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Busted: Legarda sinumbatan si Robredo na mag-resign bago pa lumabas ang resulta na panalo si Marcos? Misleading headline!

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Senator Loren Legarda allegedly confronted Vice President Leni Robredo and asked her to resign before the results would show former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. as the winner.

The video was posted by blog dailydu30.info on May 15, 2018. The vice presidential vote recount is still ongoing, so the headline must have been referring to the result of the recount. It also made it seem as though Legarda is telling Robredo that she is certain that Marcos would emerge as the winner in the recount.

The YouTube video is 20-minute long and Legarda’s face was immediately shown at the beginning of the video. However, if you finish watching it, you’d know immediately that the video was not taken recently. In fact, it showed a portion of the budget hearing for 2017 for the Office of the Vice President. Further research showed that the hearing was conducted in front of the Senate panel on August 22, 2017 and it lasted less than an hour before it was approved. Robredo herself attended the budget hearing to present an overview of the OVP’s plans for 2018.

Legarda served as the Senate panel’s chair.

During the hearing, Robredo reported how the OVP spent its funds, mainly for poverty alleviation.

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The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that following the presentation on the fund allocation of the OVP, Legarda asked Robredo to send them a yearlong report on the needs of the sectors and areas that the OVP has reached while promising to help out on fulfilling those needs.

So unlike what the headline claimed, Legarda did not tell Robredo to resign from her VP post to make way for Marcos’ imminent victory. The headline is misleading and is merely playing with people’s emotions and gullibility.

However, Facebook page “Sara Duterte Worldwide Supporters” still shared it without verifying the headline’s claims.

There have been several fake stories involving Marcos and Robredo and the VP vote recount that we have busted. We debunked a misleading headline claiming that Marcos has already won, that Marcos won by 1,786 votes over Robredo, that Robredo would perform her tasks as VP until Marcos takes over, and that Marcos will replace Robredo.

Sources: ( philstar.comnewsinfo.inquirer.net )

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