BUTUAN CITY – In time with the conduct of Training on Nutriskwela (Nutrisyon Eskweka) Community Radio Broadcasting initiated by the National Nutrition Council (NNC) Caraga in General Luna and Del Carmen, both in Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte, the Nutriskwela personnel from dxNG-FM 97.7 Radyo Kabakhawan, shared their best practices that were known in the town of Del Camen during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Romy Jun Sunico, campus president of Surigao del Norte State University – Del Carmen Campus (formerly Surigao State College of Technology) bared that Radyo Kabakhawan as a community radio in the said municipality has been very useful to the institution, as the SNSU was able to maximize the utilization of the radio station for broadcasting relevant information and updates to the public amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic wherein strict health protocols were imposed and travel restriction was observed, Radyo Kabakhawan was still functional, operating and able to reach out to the people in the community because it was used to disseminate timely, accurate and relevant information to the public. It was also used to broadcast learning instructional materials to students of SNSU while face-to-face classes were temporarily suspended,” Sunico underscored.
Elwin Argana, station manager of Radyo Kabakhawan, also emphasized that Radyo Kabakhawan also utilizes its information desk where students or visitors could get copies of Information, Education, and Communications (IEC) materials, which they also gathered from various government agencies including news articles from the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Caraga.
“We are also active in utilizing our social media account, so we could also reach out to people online,” Argana added.
Also, Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer (MDRRMO) Marcelo S. Ravelo and Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer (MSWDO) Daniel L. Dumpa, Jr., acknowledged the importance and contribution of the Nutriskwela community radio, Radyo Kabakhawan in their community. The local government unit also shared the different support they continuously provide for the sustainability of the said radio station.
Meanwhile, during the workshop on broadcast equipment operations and maintenance, and basic troubleshooting and signal mapping at Radyo Kabakhawan, Mr. Aljon Judilla, program manager, presented and explained to other Nutriskwela personnel the parts and equipment installed inside their station.
Station managers from Radyo Kinaiyahan in Malimono, Surigao del Norte; Radyo Kaagapay in Sibagat, Agusan del Sur; representatives from Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Caraga; and Radyo Pilipinas Butuan also expressed their support by greeting the station's listeners live on-air and promoted the station ID.
Radyo Kabakhawan was established in 2013 by the NNC in partnership with the Municipal Government of Del Carmen and Department of Health (DOH)-Caraga under the Nutriskwela Community Radio Network Program Phase III. “Bakhaw” is Surigaonon word for mangrove. The term “kabakhawan” is used for the radio station to mean community.
It began broadcasting on 23 April 2013. It was originally located at Ground floor, DOH-Operation Center-Siargao Building, Purok 3, Barangay Poblacion, Del Carmen, Surigao del Norte before it was transferred to its current location.
The NNC upgraded Radyo Kabakhawan’s transmitter in 2017. From 100 watts, the transmitter is now 300 watts with Effective Radiated Power (ERP) of 600 watts. The radio station can be clearly heard in all 20 barangays of the municipality.
The NNC recalled that during the establishment of the said radio station, the prevalence of underweight among pre-school children was at 18.45%. As of 2018, the prevalence of underweight was at 5.71% (Operation Timbang Plus, NNC). (NNC/JPG/PIA-Caraga)