A Philippines Town Banned Gossip, Fines and Punishes: Fact Check


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Image about a Philippines Town Banned Gossip, Fines and Punishes
A Philippines Town Banned Gossip, Fines and Punishes

Story:

A Small Philippines Town Banned Gossip, Fines and Punishes Such People Giving them Community Service like Picking up Rubbish.

Other Versions

A Philippines Town Bans Gossip to Stop Rumors from Spreading

Fact Check:

A ‘strange’ message in circulation online claims that a small Philippines Town has Banned Gossip. Allegedly, the anti-gossip law fines such people and punishes them with community service work like picking up Rubbish. Yes, it is a fact – the anti-gossip law is enforced in Binalonan, a small town in the Philippines.

Image about a Philippines Town Banned Gossip, Fines and Punishes

Binalonan, Philippines Town Banned Gossip

Binalonan is a small town 200 km to the north of the Philippines capital city Manila. During the lethargic heat of summer, reports say, people in the Philippines town gather under the trees and share stories about their neighbors, swapping titbits about rumored scandals, affairs, bankruptcies and divorces. Such gossip, locally called “chismis,” also becomes reasons of conflict around property, money, relationships and alike. So, Binalonan mayor, Ramon Guico III passed the anti-gossip ordinance after observing such Gossips fuelled several, severe disputes. The law comes in a bid to fight fake news also.

Image of Ramon Guico III, Mayor of Binalonan
Ramon Guico III, Mayor of Binalonan

Punishment for Gossipmongers

People caught in the act of gossip for the first time face a fine of 200 pesos (£3) and three hours of community service, picking up rubbish. Repeat offenders face a fine of up to £15 and eight hours of community service. The mayor said the law is already implemented, taking a hard line on rumor-mongers and succeeded in reducing local disputes. He dismissed gossip as a waste of time and says people should have something better to do. “Banning gossip is our way of improving the quality of life in our town,” said the mayor Ramon Guico. He also said the ordinance shall make citizens more responsible in what they are talking and spreading.

Earlier, neighborhood area of Moreno passed a similar anti-gossip ordinance in 2017. Likewise, laws against fake news have become increasingly common across Southeast Asia.

Hoax or Fact:

Fact.

References:

Have you heard about the Philippine mayor who banned gossip?
Philippines town BANS gossip in bid to fight fake news


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Prashanth Damarla
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