Entities fall for fake presidential proclamation declaring December 22 ‘special half-working day’

December 21, 2023 - 1:41 PM
ake presidential proclamation
Fake presidential proclamation debunked by the Official Gazette of the Philippines on its Facebook page on Dec. 21, 2023 (govph/Facebook)

Several entities fell victim to a supposed presidential proclamation declaring December 22, a Friday, as a “special half-working day” throughout the country.

The Official Gazette, the main publication arm of the government, on Thursday denied that the Malacañang released a so-called Proclamation No. 427 that stated Filipinos only have to work for half of their schedules.

“It has been edited to appear as an official government declaration, but it lacks any official status or authentication,” the publication said, tagging the document as “false.”

“Citizens are strongly advised to seek information from legitimate government sources and avoid sharing unverified or manipulated content,” the Official Gazette added.

In the fake proclamation document, the color of the seal of the president of the republic is lighter than the typical dark blue shade present in legitimate letters.

Seal of the President of the Philippines
(Seal of the President of the Philippines/Government of the Philippines, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

The fake proclamation stated that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. had declared December 22 as a “special half-working day” to “give the people the full opportunity to travel earlier to their respective residences and provinces in preparation to celebrate the holiday with their families and loved ones. ”

It also noted that the day, a Friday, “is expected to bring heavy traffic throughout the country due to the holiday season.”

Presidential Communications Secretary Cheloy Garafil said that the document is “fake.”

History blogger Kristoffer Pasion said that the “bleeding blue color of the Seal of the President of the Philippines on the header of a certain presidential proclamation should have been a giveaway that the document is fake.”

“I think a necessary part of our education and media literacy is the need to be familiar with Philippine heraldry,” he added.

Those who have been victimized by the fake letter include some local media outlets like an AM radio station and a lifestyle publication.

Local government units like Valenzuela City also posted the document on its social media pages but took it down and informed its residents that it was fake.

The real Proclamation No. 247 (series of 2023) is a document wherein Marcos declares nine individuals as “Manlilikha ng Bayan” for 2023 pursuant to Republic Act 7355.

The “Manlilikha ng Bayan,” otherwise known as “National Living Treasures,” refers to a citizen or a group of citizens engaged in any traditional art that is uniquely Filipino and whose distinctive skills have reached a high level of technical and artistic excellence.