DPWH publishes fabricated inspection picture on Facebook page (updated)
Local blogger Pierre Albert San Diego, a “civil engineer by profession” is a bit mad at the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). Apparently someone in the government agency fabricated a picture of its officials inspecting the destruction left behind by Typhoon Pedring.
Here’s the image that got Mr. San Diego, who goes by the online pseudonym “quiapo”, angry:
In case the Photoshopping isn’t obvious, quiapo’s annotations are detailed below:
Once quiapo’s discovery started making the Facebook rounds, people posted complaints about it on the Facebook page of the DPWH Central Office. Eventually the image was taken down, and a representative of the agency posted the following apology:
we apologize for the photo release… it was not cleared yet before the stafff posted it. it was already replaced. Beth Pilorin, Chief, PID
What’s funny is that there was no reason for the DPWH to use a fake image. Below is a real photo that was also posted on the Facebook page.
It shows officials actually inspecting the aftermath of Pedring. Why the photo manipulation, when there already was credible evidence of people doing their jobs? This is like the local version of the Adnan Hajj photographs controversy. A Lebanese photographer Photoshopped at least one image before submitting for publication—even though the original photograph was quite compelling. Update: Reader RJ points out the fake DPWH photo is very similar to this fake Chinese inspection photo posted earlier this year.
Mistakes like these further undermine the trust of Filipinos in their own government. And according to quiapo, impressions are even more important in the engineering industry:
…if there’s one thing I hate it’s people that fabricate their inspection reports. Why? Inspection reports are very important in our field, if the inspection report is erroneous, this might lead to a wrong and/or costly design. Aside from that, it might lead to a very difficult project implementation, and worse, not prepare others from potential safety risks of the site.
Update 2: Looks like the fake photo has become really popular, with “fan”-made versions like the ones below being shared online:
Update 3: Reimagined manipulations of the three DPWH officials have continued appearing. There’s even a Facebook page featuring them called “DPWHERE?”. More samples below.
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