by George Gamayo and Desserie Dionio
One of the countries most vulnerable to disasters, the Philippines lies in the Pacific Ring of Fire where most of the world’s earthquakes and volcanic activities occur. Every year, around 20 tropical cyclones visit the country, claiming lives and damaging infrastructure and livelihood. These are the reasons why Panahon TV was born exactly five years ago today.
Produced by UBE Media in cooperation with the Philippine Communications Operations Office (PCOO), People’s Television Network (PTV), PAGASA-DOST and Air21, Panahon TV was first aired on national television on September 10, 2012.
Over the years, the show took part in international events, gaining accreditation from the United Nations to cover the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan in 2015. Representatives from the program also participated in the media seminar organized by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in Vietnam in 2014, and the annual Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union’s conferences on climate change.
Panahon TV has been a recipient of awards and recognitions from PAGASA, the Department of Science and Technology, the Department of Education and the Far East Broadcast Company. It also received the Anak TV Seal and the UmalohokJuan Commendation for the show’s child-friendly content and valuable contribution to disaster preparedness campaigns. The Department of Foreign Affairs-Overseas Voting Secretariat (DFA-OVS) and the Department of Commission on Elections (COMELEC) recognized the program’s support in promoting overseas voting registration and reactivation for the 2016 national elections.
Being an advocacy program, Panahon TV is committed to bringing change to different sectors of the society on and off camera. Championing disaster risk reduction and quality education, we hope to do our part in nation building.
Engaging the Youth
Being an Anak TV seal recipient, Panahon TV invests time and effort in educating future leaders of this nation.
In 2013, the show worked with the Department of Education (DepEd), the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) and Radyo ng Bayan in gathering 1,600 students and teachers in the National Capital Region (NCR) to attend the Batang Emergency Response Training. DepEd recognized this three-day workshop on citizen journalism and disaster preparedness during the 2014 World Teachers Day for promoting accessible and quality Education for All (EFA).
In 2016, the show launched Bisita Eskuwela (campus tours), which aims to bring awareness and knowledge on climate change, global warming and disaster resiliency among mass communication students.
The program is frequently invited to speaking engagements for students and local government units across Metro Manila. Meanwhile, our studio stationed in the state’s weather bureau also welcomes guests from different schools and agencies to show how weather broadcasting works.
In cooperation with AIR21, UBE MEDIA and the Makiling Center for Mountain Ecosystem, the show helped in planting more than 2,000 seedlings of Alibangbang, Palawan Cherry, and Banaba to restore and rehabilitate a portion of Mount Makiling. The team also participates in nurturing these trees twice a year coupled with a gift-giving activity for the children of Brgy. Pulang Lupa in Calamba, Laguna.
In 2013, Panahon TV produced the Disaster Information for Nationwide Awareness (Project DINA), a flagship project of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) and the National Disaster Risk Management Council (NDRRMC). These instructional videos on what to do before, during and after natural hazards that might occur in the country were distributed to communities and local non-governmental organizations to educate them on disaster preparedness, response and recovery.
Panahon TV also helped the First Response Radio (FRR) in bringing vital information to Leyte during the height of the Yolanda crisis in 2013. Aside from food, clothing, shelter and medicine, communication is also an important necessity for typhoon survivors. For more than forty days, Panahon TV, through FRR, reported weather conditions in areas heavily battered by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). This initiative was given recognition by the Far East Broadcast Company Philippines on June 16, 2014 for its invaluable contribution to helping Yolanda-hit areas 72 hours after the onslaught of the typhoon.
Panahon TV continues its partnership with FRR by reporting weather updates to communities likely to experience inclement weather brought about by impending tropical cyclones.
Empowering Filipinos Worldwide
Panahon TV helped in promoting the overseas Filipinos’ right to suffrage by producing instructional videos and manuals on overseas voter registration and reactivation in 2015, which were used by Philippine consulates, embassies and missions in Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East and Africa. This information helped the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) and the Department of Foreign Affairs-Overseas Voting Secretariat (DFA-OVS) in surpassing the one million mark of Active Overseas Voters (AOV) during the 2016 national elections—a first in Philippine history.
The program retains its partnership with the DFA-OVS and COMELEC for the 2019 and 2022 elections.
Championing Modern-Day Heroism
Panahon TV recognized modern-day heroes through its segment Ulat Pangmulat in 2013. Some of whom are Teacher Fe who advocates the Alternative Learning System (ALS) through storytelling in a slum area in Parañaque City. Meanwhile, Tomas Leonor raises awareness and funds for children battling with cancer. These two met through Panahon TV, and decided to mount a collaborative charity work that benefits out-of-school youth by providing recreational activities such as painting, drawing and reading books on weekends.
Paving the Road to Inclusivity
In time with National Resilience Month in July, the show launched a weeklong Earthquake Challenge that aimed to provide disaster awareness and risk reduction measures to the country’s various sectors including families, youth, and persons with disabilities (PWDs).
The program featured the GRACES home for the elderly in Quezon City and Tahanang Walang Hagdanan, an organization in Rodriguez, Rizal that aims to uplift the lives of orthopedically-handicapped persons. The show also invited a disaster and crises management expert to share precautionary, evacuation and survival measures with PWDS and the elderly.
With the presence of a sign language interpreter, the program made sure that the message was accessible to the deaf community.
While we look back to our humble beginnings and accomplishments, it is also timely that we look forward to what’s in store for the next years of the program.
Literally and figuratively, the coming years of Panahon TV will be more colorful than ever. As part of its rebranding, the show will introduce new designs for both its broadcast and internet platforms.
This year, the show has launched new segments that will allow us to tell stories are even more timely, relevant and actionable.
Maabilidad sa Siyudad – features tips on how to survive the urban jungle. With topics ranging from city driving and commuting, to greening your homes and office spaces, this segment can give metro-dwellers simple yet life-changing hacks.
Be Safe – is a Public Service Announcement or full segment that tackles disaster-related topics such as risk management and preparedness. Hot topics on disasters such as the West Valley Fault and tsunami-prone areas may also be discussed.
Kaibigan ng Kalikasan – talks about relevant environmental issues, such as climate change and how ordinary citizens can help in preventing its harmful impacts. Aside from sharing information on Mother Nature’s concerns, this segment also encourages viewers to get involved in preserving the planet though practical, everyday tips.
Siyensya Na – discusses topics under science and technology that contribute to greening the environment and improving daily life routine.
Climate Change – focuses on global warming, renewable energy, sustainable development, climate finance, policy-making, natural resource management, food security, inclusive DRR planning, and other related stories in and outside the country.
Be Healthy – focuses on health tips and concerns with an interview with health experts.
Juan Minute – answers questions about the weather, climate change, and the environment sent by netizens on our official social media accounts.
Ano sa Tingin Mo? – confirms or destroys popular beliefs about weather-related events with scientific explanations.
Astronomy – discusses astronomical events, breakthroughs and discoveries.
Global News – features significant and timely stories around the globe that tackle climate, weather and disasters.
Weather Express – presents a recap of the previous day’s weather in different parts of the country by showing photos and video clips from the program’s citizen correspondents.
By the Numbers – summarizes relevant issues and historical events through facts and figures.
DIY- introduces fun and budget-friendly ways of creating, modifying, or repairing things as part of recycling.
Panahon TV Reports – features stories on DRR, agriculture, sustainable development, and scientific breakthroughs.
Preparing the Filipinos
Launching soon is Preparedness 101, a disaster preparedness manual that includes tips on how to prepare for and survive different disasters and their secondary hazards.
In the coming days, the show will introduce a more comprehensive and interactive website and mobile app. Through the website, the public will soon be able to post photos and videos of weather situations and related content, enabling social interaction. The new version of the mobile app will likewise feature real-time weather forecasts and climate change content.
Involving the Youth
True to its commitment in inspiring the youth, Panahon TV will continue to extend the reach of its Bisita Eskuwela advocacy. From its first leg involving Mass Communication students in the National Capital Region, Bisita Eskuwela will now reach middle school to college students.
As we take time to express our gratitude for the years gone by, we also train our eyes to the years ahead. To our partners, sponsors, the team behind the show, and the Filipinos: our deepest appreciation to all of you.
High five for more years of changing lives!
Panahon TV at 5: Changing Lives of Filipinos
by George Gamayo and Desserie Dionio