Monday, July 30, 2012

UNTV celebrates 8th year with Manibela Academy, Infant Care for Abandoned Babies

The Philippine television channel, UNTV 37, has celebrated its eight year this month. But who would have thought this little station with no big celebrities, no big advertisers, no imported shows or stars, and no big investors will reach this far? I myself could not believe this channel just did and looks headed to introducing more innovative projects in the future!

The impossible dream? Starting a TV station in the Philippines eight years ago is not a joke (because even back then, it's already a suicide to operate a television network even for just a day in terms of cash needed!). With the so-called network brawls, many Filipinos only knew of the two giant networks then.  It's either you are a 2 or 7 viewer, or you are swimming in the hundreds of available cable channels. The rest of other Philippine local channels were just virtually non-existent. But it obviously looks like UNTV is blessed, like the David in the midst of many Goliaths. Since then, UNTV started making a name for itself as the little man that could.

And when UNTV was re-launched in 2004 by veteran broadcast journalist, Daniel Razon whose early resume includes working with almost all the local television networks, I believe that many Filipinos may not even be aware of the new kid in the block whose humble proposal is a brand new way of television programming.

For the first time, Filipinos experienced an intelligent alternative where the shows are centered on providing informative, educational, inspirational, and intelligent resources via TV viewing. It may be quite late in the race but UNTV seems not interested in competition but only wants to deliver the goods, with emphasis on "not to insult the intelligence of the thinking Filipinos."

But aside from the many reasons that makes the station stand out (obviously not in terms of ratings to which the station is honest to not claim the No. 1 position), there is the daily public service programs for the marginalized. These are people who are living in the margins or who may be earning only as little as P50 a day.

Public service at UNTV was a commitment initiated by Razon, who later earned the title of Mr. Public Service because of his numerous public charity programs. There are medical and dental assistance legal support assistance, livelihood programs, Transient home, free bus rides, and more. All these are given for free. So if you are wondering where the long queues of people every morning that you see along EDSA Ave., near the North Avenue station of the MRT are headed, these people are not out to join a contest to win million peso or house and lot prizes.

In the fields of education and journalism, meanwhile, UNTV has introduced two landmark projects in the Philippines, the brainchild of Razon.

One is the the mobile school project through the Department of Education's Alternative Learning System (ALS) called Dunong-Gulong. The multimillion buses are packed with high-tech facilities, books, and educational resources and materials for students in remote areas.

UNTV-DepEd Dunong-Gulong project. Photo credit:
Then there is the News-and-Rescue project under the news advocacy slogan "Tulong Muna, Bago Balita" (Rescue First Before Reporting), whereby UNTV's working journalists and media people are trained to conduct rescue missions during crisis and calamity situations. Reports can come later just so we can save lives first, is what the advocacy means. For this project, UNTV deployed several rescue-and-mission vehicles around the country.

One of the UNTV mobile rescue vans used by the network's reporters.
One of the station's latest projects is the Manibela Academy, another first in the Philippines whose aim is to provide mechanical and livelihood training for drivers around the country. TESDA was key partner for this mobile driving school project. The bus will make rounds in barangays to teach drivers the proper and responsible way to drive.  

Manibela Academy bus, the mobile driving project launched by UNTV this month. Photo credit:
Then, UNTV also launched the Infant Care Program for Abandoned Babies project. This charitable project is aimed at providing shelter and care for abandoned and neglected babies. This may also be another helpful advocacy to prevent cases of abortion.

These notable projects by the station are being conducted in partnership with key government offices and non-profit organizations that include the Philippine National Red Cross, Ang Dating Daan's Bro. Eli Soriano, Kamanggagawa Foundation, and more.

UNTV-BMPI CEO and Chairman, Dr. Daniel Razon delivers his S.O.N.A. or State of the Network Address during the anniversary event at One Esplanade in the Mall of Asia grounds. Photo credit: International
To that and the bigger public service help to our fellowmen, to the leaders, staff and crews, mabuhay po kayo!

Happy anniversary to UNTV and more power to our "Tahanan Mo, Tahanan Natin!"

1 comment:

  1. I truly believe that this network is not just an innovative force to be reckoned with by the older networks, but it is also a network with an unmatched level of genuine care for the poor and the marginalized. You raised important things to consider - UNTV really does not have imported shows, or big celebrities under its helm but still they manage to pull off something astoundingly different and beneficial to humanity each year. And it just keeps getting better.

    So congratulations to UNTV and to everyone who continue to support their one-of-a-kind public service endeavors. UNTV shines as a genuine public service network that simply does good deeds without asking for anything in return. Period.