FALSE: Robredo 'proposes widening pipes' as solution to water crisis

Claim: Vice President Leni Robredo allegedly proposed that water pipes should be widened from 1/2 inch to 12 inches to solve the water crisis.

Facebook group Netizen On Watch.Ph shared a meme on April 6 where Robredo was "quoted" as supposedly raising the idea.

The quote read: "Kulang tayo sa tubig. Ang tubig kasi dumadaloy 'yan sa mga tubo papunta sa mga kabahayan, maaring 'yung size ng tubo ang dahilan. Makakatulong siguro sa supply ng tubig ay 'yung lakihan natin 'yung mga tubo o gripo, imbis na 1/2 inch ang liit ng tubo gawin nating 12 inches, ang luwang, ang laki, 'di ba? Para mas maraming tubig ang dumaloy." 

(We don't have enough water. Water flows through pipes to the households, so the size of the pipes could be the reason. It might help boost water supply if we increase the size of pipes or faucets, from 1/2 inch let's make it 12 inches, that's wide, that's big, right? So more water would flow.)

The meme has gotten 12 reactions, 5 comments, and 1 share, as of writing. Facebook page President Rodrigo Duterte Solid Supporters also shared the meme on April 6, accumulating around 1,000 reactions, 554 comments, and 422 shares. Facebook user Ely Fabella Jr, meanwhile, shared it last April 5 on the Facebook group Solid Sarah Z Duterte 2022.

The meme was shared by these various pages and groups during the water shortage that first hit parts of Metro Manila and Rizal in early 2019. A reader emailed the meme on July 1 to Rappler's fact-checking unit for verification.

Rating: FALSE

The facts: Robredo never said the water crisis could be solved by widening water pipes.

Speaking during her radio show Biserbisyong Leni on April 14, the Vice President said the quote is false. She told Ely Saludar, her co-anchor, that she felt the posts were being shared in order to make her appear stupid.

"Parang gusto lang nilang palabasin na bobo, bobo tayo.... Last week, ang sabi ko raw ang solusyon para magkaroon ng tubig, lakihan iyong mga water pipes. Hindi ko naman iyon sinabi. Hindi ko alam kung saan nanggaling," Robredo said.

(They just seem to want to make it appear that I'm stupid. Last week, they claimed I said that the solution to the water crisis is to increase the size of water pipes. I didn't say that. I don't know where that came from.)

The claim got recirculated again as more water interruptions were announced in mid-June due to the decreasing water level of the Angat Dam.

Robredo previously questioned the need for the Philippine government to borrow from China for the P12.2-billion Kaliwa Dam project, which is being eyed as a solution to the water crisis. (READ: Robredo on China-funded Kaliwa Dam: Bakit uutang tayo?)

Rappler reached out to Facebook group Netizen On Watch.Ph to inquire about the source of the quote they posted, but the group has yet to respond.

The group was created in May 2015. Its About Page claims it was created to spread awareness among Filipinos about politicians who only serve their personal interests. Its more than 4,700 members mostly share posts supporting the Duterte administration. – Addie Pobre/Rappler.com

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.