When spelling goes wrong: PTV airs report on Sarangani reefs with grammar mistakes

May 8, 2020 - 1:29 PM
Sarangani Reefs
Coral reefs damaged in Sarangani Bay. (Photo from DENR Sarangani via Facebook)

State-run television network People’s Television Network or PTV-4 recently aired a report about a fishing vessel causing damage to coral reefs off Sarangani Bay but its broadcast featured a news crawler with grammatical errors.

The network featured a picture of the coral reefs provided by the Sarangani Bay Protected Seascape-Protected Area Management Office (SBPS-PAMO) but its crawler or the text accompanying the image on-air contained mistakes.

The report, which aired on the program “PTV News Headlines,” had the text: “Fishing vessels damages protected Sarangani coral reeps.”

The crawler, under grammatical rules, would’ve been written as: “Fishing vessels damage protected Sarangani coral reefs.”

However, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources office in Sarangani reported that there was only one fishing vessel involved, which has since paid for the damages due to the faulty maneuver credited to satellite error.

PRESS RELEASE | Fishing company pays damages after ship ran aground in SBPSGLAN, SARANGANI PROVINCE – The Protected…

Posted by DENR Soccsksargen on Sunday, May 3, 2020


The text accompanying the report on-air, therefore, was supposed be presented as: “Fishing vessel damages protected Sarangani coral reefs.”

The network’s gaffe was noticed by the local online community after Facebook user Chelo Banal-Formoso took a picture of the televised report and shared it on social media.

Grabe, “damages” na, “coral reeps” pa! Hahaha . . . Hoy, PTV 4 kayo dapat ang isara! Operating with dead brains kayo.

Posted by Chelo Banal-Formoso on Tuesday, May 5, 2020


Other Filipinos on Twitter also noticed the errors as well.

While the errors amused some online users, others were critical, noting that a network ran by the government should be more prudent when it comes to airing news reports for public consumption.

“OMG! Umayos kayo! Gov’t station pa naman PTV 4,” a Facebook user exclaimed.

“Dapat may mahuhusay silang (mag)babasa, tulad ng proofreader sa diario bago i-post,” another online user said.

A Filipino likewise commented, “They can’t even construct a single grammatically correct sentence. Can’t they proofread before airing?”

PTV uploaded the corrected and updated Filipino version of the report on its YouTube channel last May 6. It was titled: “Malaking bahagi ng bahura sa Sarangani Bay, nasira matapos araruhin ng isang cargo vessel.”

The YouTube channel also carries the disclaimer that it is: “funded in whole or in part by the Philippine government.”

Screenshot by Interaksyon

The case of the Chinese Navy photo 

It was not the first time that the state-run network committed a gaffe involving its news reports.

In August 2018, its weekend newscast “Ulat Bayan” featured an edited photo of a Chinese ship on television and its social media page. It was used in a report about the Philippine Navy‘s plan to rescue three abducted Filipino workers in Libya.

RELATED: Fake warship photo in PTV report has led to sanctions on video editor

Military enthusiasts called out the network and said that it broadcasted a picture of a warship from the Chinese Navy instead of a ship belonging to the Philippines.

They also pointed out that a Chinese flag was originally hoisted on the ship, and not the Philippine flag as broadcasted.

Shame on you PTV for broadcasting altered photos claiming these as current assets of our Philippine Navy. You presented false and misleading information to the public.#FakeNews #ThisIsWhereOurTaxesGo

Posted by Philippines Defense Forces Forum on Sunday, August 5, 2018


PTV later on apologized for the mistake and said that it has sanctioned its video editor, who claimed to have only downloaded the picture from the internet.

The network also warned other news producers and editors against making similar mistakes in the future.

Last March 31, PTV’s Twitter account accidentally included an “instruction message” while live-tweeting the transcript of President Rodrigo Duterte’s nation address.

It has deleted the tweet but Interaksyon managed to take a screenshot of the post.

Screenshot by Interaksyon

One of PTV’s mandates under Republic Act 7306 or  “Charter of the People’s Television Network, Incorporated,” amended under Republic Act 10390, is “to ensure that the programs broadcast by the Network maintain a high general standard in all respects.”

It added that the particular standard should be maintained with “respect to their content and quality and proper balance of educational, news, public affairs, entertainment, and sports programs.”

The network’s function is “to serve primarily as a vehicle for the State for purposes of education, science and technology, arts, culture, and sports in order to foster national pride and identity.”