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Video of Metro Manila infrastructure projects misleads

Misleading video clips and altered images of transportation systems in other countries have been passed off by a YouTube video as big-ticket infrastructure development projects in Metro Manila.

The 35-minute video posted June 4 by ASEAN Analytics featured eight railway projects, seven of which were represented by misleading graphics. The channel is not an official media channel of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

The video presented a made-up photo of the Ayala station of the P192 billion Makati Intra-city Subway, a planned 11-kilometer underground rapid transit line in the city. A reverse image search reveals that it is a model of a metro train in Moscow, Russia in 2013.

The video used another image to feature the subway project. A reverse image search shows that the photo is from Pixabay, a website for copyright-free media files. In the original photo, the train has the signage “U72 Ratingen Mitte” which is a train route in Germany. In the altered image, the signage was changed to “CIRCUIT MAKATI.”

Construction of the city subway is still pending as its proponent, Philippine Infradev Holdings Inc., announced “mutual termination” of its share purchase agreement with Hong Kong Binjiang Industrial Ltd.

A fabricated photo of a station of the planned ₱356.97 billion Metro Manila Subway project was shown in the video. A reverse image search shows that it is the Metro Ligero train station in Madrid, Spain. It was manipulated to have a local station signage and Philippine flags.

In addition, a video clip of a train station was depicted as the Manila subway. A reverse image search reveals that the clip was taken from Pexels, a royalty-free media sharing website. The train signage “TUSRC” can be seen in the footage. The acronym stands for Tehran Urban & Suburban Railway Co., a railway company in Iran.

Construction of the subway is scheduled to start later this year.

Disguised as the Santolan station of Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 1 in the video was the Network Rail’s railway in Britain. LRT-1 has no station in Santolan in both its current and projected extension line.

The video used a short clip of a train station to feature the still ongoing LRT Line 1 Cavite Extension project. A reverse image search shows that it is footage of a Mass Rapid Transit station in Malaysia from Shutterstock, another website for copyright-free media files. The same video clip was used to feature Manila Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Line 3.

The under-construction North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) was also promoted in the video. The trains for the project are expected to arrive in December. However, one of the clips used to feature the railroad was uploaded May 2018 on Pixabay.

The video manipulated a royalty-free stock photo of an illustrated high-speed train to pose as the NSCR, which is to be operated by the Philippine National Railways (PNR). The fabricated photo has a Philippine flag and the PNR logo on the train.

An image of a model of Canada’s OC Transpo train in 2016 was also passed off as a local project. It was used to feature both the existing LRT Line 2 and the under-construction MRT Line 7.

On top of the railroad development initiatives, the video also featured transportation hub projects including the planned Taguig Integrated Terminal Exchange (ITX). A South Korean bus station, however, was used to promote the terminal. A reverse image search shows that the image can be accessed on Pixabay.

The video used another photo of a terminal in another country to feature the Taguig ITX. The red bus on the left has the signage “721 D-Tannenhof,” which is a bus route in Germany. A reverse image search indicates that it is also from Pixabay.

Still on Taguig ITX, the video also used a short clip of an elevated highway in the United States, as what the signage suggests. A reverse image search points out that the footage is from Pexels.

Pre-construction activities for Taguig ITX were temporarily suspended due to enhanced community quarantine, as per Public Private Partnership (PPP) Center.

As of this writing, the video has over 190,000 views on YouTube. A Crowdtangle search shows that it was shared on Facebook more than 1,300 times and earned almost 2,300 engagements. It was shared by pages “Duterte sa Kuwait” and “Kilusang Pagbabago Cagayan Valley” which both publicly support President Duterte.

The YouTube channel was created in June 2020. (JMP)


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