An estimated 3.27 million Filipinos are out of work, not nine million as presidential candidate Jose Montemayor Jr. wrongly claimed in a recent debate.

The Philippine Statistics Authority recorded in its December 2021 Labor Force Survey a 6.6% unemployment rate, equivalent to about 3.27 million individuals.

Montemayor, a cardiologist and lawyer, also incorrectly pegged the country’s unemployment figure before the pandemic at 3.4 million during the Feb. 27 CNN Philippines presidential debate.

Describing the immediate impact of his leadership, he said at the 3:12:57 mark:

Ang (The) unemployment, we will plan to reduce that from 9 million to 3.4 million pre-pandemic levels.

The January 2020 Labor Force Survey, released before the country went into lockdown in mid-March that year, recorded 2.4 million unemployed Filipinos, a million short of the figure Montemayor gave.

Montemayor is vying for president under the Democratic Party of the Philippines with former legislative staff Rizalito David as his running mate.

Read the full story on FactRakers.

FactRakers is a Philippines-based fact-checking initiative of journalism majors at the University of the Philippines-Diliman working under the supervision of Associate Professor Yvonne T. Chua of the University of the Philippines’ Journalism Department. Associate Professor Ma. Diosa Labiste, also of the Journalism Department, serves as editorial consultant.

The name of the initiative, coined from the words “fact” and “raker,” is inspired by the term “muckrakers,” first used in the early 1900s by American president Theodore Roosevelt to express his annoyance at progressive, reform-minded journalists at the time.