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Video passes off foreign infrastructure as Marcos’ ‘Build Better More’ projects

The most recent list of infrastructure flagship projects (IFPs) from the National Economic Development Authority does not include the modernization of the Davao International Airport and construction of a Leyte-Surigao Link, contrary to what a YouTube video claims.

The video posted on Dec. 6 by YouTube channel Soksay TV listed the two among the 10 biggest infrastructure projects by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. under the “Build Better More” program.

While the video accurately featured some pending infrastructures included in NEDA’s 2023 IFP list, it also incorrectly used photos from other countries to refer to certain local projects that have been tabled.

At the 1:19 mark, the video showed a photo of a rendered architectural design labeled “Davao Airport. But a reverse image search directs to the Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport in China. 

A three-dimensional perspective using Google Maps confirms the same “X-like” structure of the Chinese airport.

The modernization project of the Davao International Airport was included in NEDA’s IFP list from June 2017 to May 2021 only.

Business tycoon Dennis Uy, an ally of then President Rodrigo Duterte, became the original proponent of the project through his company Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corp. in 2019.

But in February 2023, NEDA Davao head Maria Lourdes Lim confirmed in a press conference that this was taken back by the implementing agency.

The original proponent status was already withdrawn by the DOTr for Chelsea. That means that other proposals may be entertained by the DOTr. (1:19:27 - 1:19:41)

According to NEDA’s guidelines, a project can be deleted from the list of IFPs if the implementing agency requests and justifies its termination.

Further at the 3:14 mark, the video displayed a series of photos referring to the Leyte-Surigao Link Bridge project.

A reverse image search, however, reveals that the following photos all show the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge in different angles and positions along the structure.

In NEDA's IFP list in July 2019, the status of the Leyte-Surigao Link Bridge was already marked “for possible delisting.” 

Three months later, then NEDA Chief Ernesto Pernia said the project, alongside two other major bridges, would no longer push through. He adds:

It’s going to be much more expensive than we thought. Also the one that is supposed to connect Leyte to Surigao. It’s too challenging. (23:30 - 23:41)

Apart from foreign infrastructure, the video misappropriated photos of local projects. 

At the 4:03 and 6:39 marks, the YouTube post displayed the same photo but labeled it separately as “Cebu-Bohol Link Bridge” and “Bohol-Leyte Link Bridge.” 

A reverse image search, meanwhile, directs to the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway that only spans Cebu province. 

Both projects represented by misleading photos are not included in NEDA’s 2023 IFP list. 

The video also used an aerial shot of the Central Luzon Link Expressway from Tarlac to Nueva Ecija as an image for the Luzon-Samar Link Bridge at the 5:34 mark.

A three-dimensional imagery using Google Maps confirms the terrain and shape of the road project in Tarlac.

The Luzon-Samar Link Bridge remains a proposal that recently underwent assessment by Japanese experts last November, but it has yet to receive NEDA’s approval.

As of press time, the YouTube video has garnered 275 likes and more than 9,300 views. Created in March 2020, Soksay TV’s channel has around 290,000 subscribers. (KC)


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