Fact check: Graphic showing 30 provinces under Alert Level 3 is fake

Fact check: Graphic showing 30 provinces under Alert Level 3 is fake
People with large luggage start arriving at the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) in Parañaque City before dawn on Dec. 23, 2021 to catch their buses as they head to their respective provinces early to avoid the influx of passengers for the Christmas weekend.
The STAR / Miguel de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines — A graphic listing several provinces under Alert Level 3 bearing logos of a media company and the Department of Health made rounds on January 4.

CLAIM: A social media card stated that 30 provinces have been placed under Alert Level 3 “immediately” and until January 30, 2022.

RATING: This is fake.


What the post says

The infographic bore the logo of GMA News TV and the DOH. It listed six activities as prohibited under Alert Level 3.

It also said that 30 provinces across the country have been placed under the stricter protocols of Alert Level 3, effectively immediately and until the end of the month.

What it left out

As of January 4, the national government hoisted Alert Level 3 over Metro Manila and its nearby provinces of Bulacan, Cavite and Rizal. This classification is effective until January 15.

The Department of Health on Tuesday evening flagged the infographic as fake.

"Let us be mindful of the information we share. Misinformation can mean life or death. Accurate, timely information saves lives!" it said.

GMA News also clarified that it did not produce the graphic image, and urged the public to refrain from sharing the post.

Essential context

The national government placed National Capital Region under Alert Level 3 from January 3 to 15 following the sharp increase in new COVID-19 infections in the country — a majority of which have been traced to Metro Manila.

On January 4, the government added the nearby provinces of Bulacan, Cavite and Rizal under the same alert level.

Alert Level 3 allows some businesses to operate but at reduced capacity. Cinemas, movie houses and other businesses are allowed to operate at 30% indoor venue capacity and 50% outdoor venue capacity.

Most activities, including gatherings for wakes and funerals, are allowed at 30% indoor venue capacity and 50% outdoor venue capacity.

According to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, unvaccinated people in the National Capital Region will be confined to their homes except for essential trips.

Why does this matter?

A cursory check by Philstar.com showed that the infographic has been posted by individual accounts and has been shared up to 30 times per account.

Even after the Department of Health corrected the infographic in a post, the fake social media card continued to make rounds even on Wednesday morning.

Aside from battling the COVID-19 infections, health authorities have also had to fight the spread of false information about the pandemic, including those that deny the existence of the coronavirus. — Kristine Joy Patag

This story is part of the Philippine Fact-check Incubator, an Internews initiative to build the fact-checking capacity of news organizations in the Philippines and encourage participation in global fact-checking efforts

Have a claim you want fact-checked? Reach out to us at [email protected]

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