To address the need for long-term strategies to curb malnutrition in the Philippines, the National Nutrition Council (NNC), in partnership with the Catanduanes State University, launched the Nutriskwela Community Radio Project in the province , which will be situated within the premises of CSU Panganiban Campus.
The proposed radio station aims to improve people’s access to accurate and balanced nutrition, as well as related development information. It also aims to provide a forum for sharing information among community members.
The municipality of Panganiban in the province is one of the 609 priority convergence areas and is an area with limited access to commercial radio broadcast.
It has also been found to be a technically suitable area for establishing a community radio station by the National Telecommunications Commission.
For the full implementation of the program, the CSU shall provide five (5) personnel to attend the three-day training on radio broadcasting which will be held in Metro Manila.
The school shall also appoint a station manager, a program manager, two (2) broadcasters, and a technician from the present employees of the university.
According to Mr. Gerry S. Rubio, CSU planning officer, after a year of full operation, the ownership of the radio station shall be turned over by the NNC to the CSU, provided that the institution shall continue airing programs that would promote nutrition in the community. It must also ensure that the primary goals of the project shall not be overlooked.
Since the conversion of CSC into CSU shall pave the way for the opening of new courses, the radio station can also be used as a laboratory for the students of yet-to-be-opened courses, such as development communication and mass communication.
The first phase of the project was implemented in 2008. In partnership with the respective local government units, five community radio stations were put up in: Pandan, Antique in Region 6; Siay, Zamboanga Sibugay in Region 9; Kalilangan, Bukidnon in Region 10; Sibagat, Agusan del Sur in CARAGA; and Lagawe, Ifugao in the Cordillera Administrative Region.
In 2010, NNC pursued the second phase of the Nutriskwela Community Radio Project. Expanded to also acquire partnership with state colleges and universities and NGOs, NNC successfully installed ten community radio stations in Regions 1, 2, 4-A, 4-B, 5, 7, 8, 11, 12, and ARMM.
NNC provides basic broadcast equipment and transmitter with power output from 100 watts upgradeable to 1,000 watts, including the antenna. Members of the radio council relative to operations are also trained by the NNC.
The project is the second Nutriskwela to be set up in Bicol Region, tailing the station of Sorsogon.
Abygale A. Bagadiong