FALSE: Philippines is country with highest gold reserves
Claim: The Philippines "landed number one" in the World Bank's ranking of countries with the highest gold reserves.
A video posted by YouTube channel Ancient Magostribe on April 23 contained this claim. The video was titled "WORLD BANK TOP 10 COUNTRIES WITH HIGHEST GOLD RESERVES! PHILIPPINES LANDED NUMBER ONE?" It was 16 minutes and 51 seconds long.
According to the video, the countries that have the highest gold reserves are the following:
- Philippines - "over a million tonnes" (or metric tons)
- United States - 8,133.5 metric tons
- Germany - 3,366.8 metric tons
- Italy - 2,451.8 metric tons
- France - 2,436.1 metric tons
- Russia - 2,219.2 metric tons
- China - 1,936.5 metric tons
- Switzerland - 1,040 metric tons
- Japan - 765.2 metric tons
- India - 618.2 metric tons
The video's description also linked the supposed gold to the family of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. It read: "PHILIPPINES CLOTH OF SECRECY WORLD BANK GOLD ACCOUNTS. The 10 billion dollar question: what happened to the gold of our ancestors that has been transferred under the custody of Marcos Family?"
Claim Check, Facebook's monitoring tool, flagged the video for fact checking. As of writing, it had 356,580 views on YouTube. The channel had over 68,400 subscribers.
The facts: Official data from the World Bank showed that the Philippines has never placed first in terms of the amount of gold reserves since 1960, the earliest data available, up to present.
Latest data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as compiled by market development organization World Gold Council, also showed that the Philippines is only the 23rd country worldwide with the highest gold reserves as of June 2020, with 197.9 metric tons.
The World Bank also has two available data series involving countries' reserves: "Total reserves (includes gold)" and "Total reserves minus gold." By subtracting the amounts in the second series from the first, World Bank's data showed that the amount of gold in the Philippines ($8.2 billion) is way below the total amount of gold reserves in the US ($335.2 billion), the top country listed by the IMF.
The data from the World Bank also showed that among the top 5 countries listed by the IMF, the US has consistently placed first in terms of the amount of gold reserves since 1960. The Philippines is noticeably far behind the top 5 countries mentioned by the IMF.
It is also impossible to own over a million metric tons of gold because the total gold mined throughout history is only at about 197,576 metric tons as of end-2019, according to the World Gold Council.
A related claim that said the Marcos family owns a "million tons of gold" was also previously debunked by Rappler in February 2019. – Pauline Macaraeg/Rappler.com
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