Newly appointed director general of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) Charito “Ching” Plaza shared a hoax article claiming that the Philippines is now ranked as the “most reformed country” since President Rodrigo Duterte came into power.
President Duterte appointed former Butuan City representative Plaza as PEZA chief, according to a Philippine Star news report.
The article that Plaza shared came from PinoySpeakInfo. It claimed that the ranking was based on a report from Pew Research Center President Michael Dimock, who “expressed joy” over the results since he “didn’t expect the Philippines to be ranked at the top.”
The article quoted Dimock as saying: “It’s unbelievable, Philippines has changed and the Philippines government seems to be working under the leadership of the President Rodrigo Duterte.”
In another quote, Dimock supposedly said: “I’m impressed by the Duterte’s tirelessly job.”
The article also claimed that the Philippines “ranks No. 1 overall for providing good quality of life since President Rodrigo Duterte came into power in June 2016.”
But just like what one of the comments in Plaza’s post has pointed out, the article seemed odd for claiming these:
“Survey respondents ranked the North American country top for its well-developed education system, a perception supported by the independent research.”
“In fact, Philippines was rated in the top five in all but one of the nine attributes – affordability, where Asian countries dominated.”
As what the commenter has pointed out, the Philippines is definitely not in North America. It still is a part of Asia.
The article went on to spill more details about the research and concluded it with: “Going by this rate, Philippines is expected to set a world record in the next 5 years.”
We traced the source of the article. PinoySpeakInfo, which we’ve noted for sharing several fake and satire articles, pointed to a blog called Philippine News Portal as its source, which further pointed to Du30NewsInfo as the source of the article. This is another notable blog for sharing fake news to elevate Duterte and to bash the President’s opponents.
We researched further. We Googled one of the puzzling sentences in the article that mentioned something about North America, especially since of the commenters had a point – that piece describing the Philippines as a country ranked first in providing “good quality of life” could be describing Canada.
Look what we found!
We clicked on the link on top of the search engine results and found some pretty familiar sentences.
Yes, major parts of the article published by PinoySpeakInfo, Philippine News Portal, and Du30NewsInfo were copied off the US News’ article on the rankings of the best countries with “Quality of Life.”
We tried looking for reports about the “most reformed country” and found this report by the Republic of Kenya’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives, announcing Kenya as the “3rd most reformed country on Doing Business.” It said that for the first time within close to a decade, Kenya has received confirmation that its economic prospects are truly improving based on the reports from World Bank’s Doing Business 2016.
This World Bank report entitled “Record Number of Economies Carried Out Business Reforms in Past Year: Doing Business” confirmed that report, too. The most reformed countries include Brunei, Darussalam; Kazakhstan; Kenya; Belarus; Indoneia; Serbia; Georgia; Pakistan; United Arab Emirates; and Bahrain. The Philippines was nowhere in the top 10, let alone being ranked at the top.
We also searched for any other reports where Dimock’s remarks about Duterte could have been quoted, but we cannot find any, except for the quote from Du30NewsInfo.
The things we found out about the article that Plaza shared led us to conclude that it was a hoax.
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