Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson pointed out the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s ‘honest mistake’ in its report about the Manila-Clark railway and wonders if the people who were quick to point her grammatical errors like broadcast journalist Anthony “Tunying” Taberna would be able to call out the newspaper.
“Alam ko po na ito ay honest mistake lamang ng Inquirer pero ang tanong ito kaya ay pupunahin ng mga nagmamagaling na tao? Yung bang magagaling sa english na kala mo sila lang matalino. Pupunahin kaya ito ni ka Tunying ng DZMM. Masyado kasi siya maalam sa english eh. Todo birada sila,” Uson said in a Facebook post on November 9.
Uson was referring to Inquirer’s mistake in reporting that the Philippine government partnered with China National Machinery Industry Corp. (SINOMACH) in building a railway system linking Manila to Clark International Airport.
Her post also came with a screenshot of the erroneous sentence in the Inquirer report and a part of the clarification statement from the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
In DOTr’s clarification, the government agency said that SINOMACH is not the contractor, but the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) of the Philippine National Railways Manila-Clark Railway project.
“The PNR Manila-Clark Railway Project will be funded by the Government of Japan through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The bidding for the contractor of the project has not started yet, contrary to what the article stated that China’s SINOMACH will be its contractor,” DOTr’s statement read.
“PDI might have confused the PNR Manila-Clark Project to the defunct Northrail Project, the contractor of which was SINOMACH, and was the subject of a recent out-of-court settlement, ending years of arbitration proceedings. The Northrail Project, which was planned to run from Caloocan to Malolos, is entirely different from the PNR Manila-Clark Project, which will run from Tutuban all the way to Clark,” it further said.
DOTr also pointed out another mistake in the Inquirer report.
“The article also incorrectly reported that the “project initially costs P150 billion.” Phase 1 (Tutuban – Malolos) of the PNR Manila-Clark Project costs PhP105-Billion, while Phase 2 (Malolos – Clark) costs PhP211-Billion,” DOTr clarified.
The groundbreaking of the first phase of the project is set on December this year or in the first quarter of 2018, while the construction of the second phase will commence in 2019, DOTr added.
In its report, “New railway to link Manila, Clark,” published on November 8, the Inquirer did write these erroneous details that DOTr noted:
“The Philippine government and China National Machinery Industry Corp. (Sinomach) are building a new railway system from Manila to Clark International Airport here after the two parties have resolved to end court and arbitration cases over the Northrail project, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said on Tuesday.”
“The new project is named the Philippine National Railways (PNR) North 2 and initially costs P150 billion.”
Uson’s reference to Taberna criticizing her grammatical flaws after a journalist and associate professor at the University of the Philippines’ proofread version of her letter to Communications Secretary Martin Andanar went viral.