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PIA Press Release

Feature: Reaching out to people through radio

by Tess Superioridad Baluyos

Cagayan de Oro City (28 June) -- For most government workers, a Saturday is something they look forward to. They don't have to wake up early and report for work. They can lazy in bed, have late breakfast, spend time with their family members, do household chores or simply relax.

I am not a typical worker, because my typical Saturday is waking up earlier than my usual work-day, and rush to DXIM for my 7:00am "Taho sa NOMCARRD" radio program.

For others, the extra job could be revolting, especially since there is no overtime pay attached to it. But then again, perhaps for others, they may not be able to relate with it, because there is an adrenalin rush flowing, connecting to'faceless' listeners who are there waiting, and connecting back with you, the broadcaster. It could be a thankless effort, but for me, as a development broadcaster, the psychological fulfillment is priceless, something money cannot buy.

Starting this month, one segment was introduced to the radio program: the trivia. The segment calls on a response from listeners, either by phone, text messages or emails. A main topic is discussed, and before the program winds up, the host asked a trivia, related to the main topic.

The first time the trivia was introduced, the main topic was about the common diseases in banana. The response from the listeners was surprisingly pleasant. All those who sent in their answers got it right. One even included the scientific name of BUGTOK (the scientific name was spelled out during the program proper). A small token, in the form of office/school supplies, along with the photocopy of the technology pamphlet on "Kasagarang Sakit sa Saging" are given out to the winners.

I know that a lot of people listen to "Taho sa NOMCARRD" based on feedbacks from the listeners. I have realized, right after the trivia segment, that listeners come from as far as Leyte, Ormoc, Bohol, Tagbilaran, Cebu, Zamboanga del Sur, Dipolog City, Agusan del Sur, Misamis Occidental and yes, from other areas in Region 10. Most of the listeners are from Bukidnon, Camiguin, Lanao del Norte and Misamis Oriental.

The good feedback inspires me to all the more find ways to reach out to more people because I know that out there, so many, especially those in the rural areas, don't have TV or newspapers, but they have access to radio, as their ready companion to get information.

The "Taho sa NOMCARRD" radio program, which is aired, live, every Saturday over DXIM-Radyo ng Bayan (AM 936 khz) is the brain-child of the Regional Applied Communication Group (RACG).

RACG is the communication arm of the Regional Consortium for Agriculture Research and Development (NOMCARD). The program, which started about five years ago, aims to enhance the dissemination of science and technology information in the area of agriculture, fisheries and natural resources that are ready for adoption.

Initially, hosting the radio program was alternately assigned to all RACG representatives of the member-agencies of NOMCARRD. Inasmuch as not everyone of the group has the flair for broadcasting, the alternate hosting was not sustained, and eventually, the program hibernated. It was revived in January 2009, after DOST commit to extend the regular host for the program. It has been running smoothly since then.

Topics discussed in the "Taho sa NOMCARRD" are research results generated in the region, along with the programs and activities of the Philippine Council for Agriculture Resources Research and Development (PCARRD), through its research consortia, the NOMCARRD. Commodities of the various Farmers' Information and Technology Services (FITS) centers are the priority-topics.

Mostly, topics are culled out from the pamphlets/brochures produced by the RACG group and also those sent from the other research consortia and yes, from PCARRD.

Radio listeners are encouraged to text in their reaction/comment or to share their own experience about the topic being discussed. They are also urged to suggest a topic which they think is what they need. There are times when listeners would request for a specific information or technology. When the requested information is not readily available, the referral system comes in.

For example, when the topic on the propagation of'Kawayang Tinik' was discussed, one listener asked where he could get or buy seedlings. His request was immediately forwarded to the RACG representative of DENR.

One listener also requested that the topic on organic farming, specifically, the Natural Farming Technology Systems (NFTS) be discussed. Knowing that one Magsasakang Siyentista from Jimenez in Misamis Occidental is a model in organic farming, he was especially requested to guest in the "Taho sa NOMCARRD." The guesting of MS Severino Ambag led to expanded networking. The radio listener got Ambag's contact number as he was to be a resource person for the farmers' training to be organized by that radio listener from Upper Nangka, Villanueva, Misamis Oriental.

Another request was about the Korean technology of swine raising. Since there was no'expert-farmer' from region 10 to talk about the topic, it was forwarded to the PCARRD's Message Board, asking people subscribed to the discussion group for additional information about the technology. The response, along with the name of the person from Davao, was relayed to the listener, during the radio program.

Also, one listener asked if DOST gives out good quality squash seeds. He was then referred to the Department of Agriculture's office.

Radio has been proven to be a potent tool in disseminating information, be it developmental, political or entertainment. For those who are given the opportunity to use their work and their talent to touch lives, broadcasting is such a fulfilling job.

I believe that God has given me this gift of sharing part of me to people who I commit to serve, and sharing part of my Saturday is my way of reaching out to more people, and hopefully, make a difference in their lives. (DOST 10) [top]

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