COTANGENT – By Daphne Cardillo
One of the top radio stations in AM band turned 70 last July 15, 2009. DZRH of the Manila Broadcasting Company celebrated its 70th anniversary on air thus making democracy work in its infancy stage in the Philippines. With a frequency of 666 kHz, news and other radio programs reach easily to the people nationwide, and to the whole world, thru the internet.
Radio serves the majority of our people the most for a radio set can be easily acquired, carried and thus provide ready information about our locality, the country, and the world at large. It gives us a direct feel of our environment as it reports immediately daily situationers in local governance, peace and order, public health, and many other incidents of everyday life, be they of great or small importance.
And with the advent of modern technology that facilitates in the gathering and reporting of news, we get an instant picture of the society we live in and therefore can make a better response to the events occurring in our midst. The availability of landline and mobile phones plus the internet likewise gives us an instant feedback from the people, a pulse that is in a way more accurate than poll survey does.
I’ve been listening to the radio for almost two years now and quite appalled at seeing the real situation we are in. And most of this time, I’ve tuned in to the station DZRH for its news, public affairs programs, and even the drama portion which is more telling of the kind of rut we are in. DZRH has excellent programming with its wise allotment of time and a very effective format in relaying news and educating the people nationwide.
If you don’t understand poverty, you simply listen to the drama program Kasaysayan sa mga Liham kay Tiya Dely. In letters sent by different individuals coming from the different parts of the country, you’ll see the many faces of poverty and how it affects family life, dehumanizes the individual, empowers him should he surpass the odds, and describes the deplorable nature of powerlessness and the consequent environment it creates.
Batas Barangay, a public affairs program that tells us how to resolve conflicts at the barangay level in the exercise of local governance also reflects poverty as an underlying situation in most of the cases they discuss on air. This early evening program however is a good school for everyone, especially for barangay officials to learn mediation.
Operation Tulong is the time where people meet the most, individuals who have the capacity to give in any small way reaching out to individuals in emergency cases or purely in dire need of help. It is in this program where radio tries to make a palliative to the deplorable situation of our public health. The government must come in and make structural reforms—socialized health care.
While most of the public affairs program instructs us in dealing with poverty and the deteriorating physical environment, the news tells us of the glaring corruption in high places, in private and government institutions, and the utter lack of good governance in public life. The former simply reflects the latter, juxtaposed in a bizarre whole.
Radio indeed does great public service as it checks bad governance while empowering the people at the same time, and facilitates in the speedy restructuring of an unjust social order. DZRH, being the oldest of the country’s several radio stations, has done its major share in serving the people not only in covering major and minor events, but in making democracy work in the Philippines. Mabuhay ang Pilipino!