LUNA, Apayao – The blessing and inaugural broadcast of the Nutriskwela Radyo Kasaranay, 96.7 MHz-FM was held at the Apayao State College, here Wednesday as a realization of the conceived Nutriskwela Community Radio Network Program in the province.
Two days from the said historical broadcast was a Hands-on Training on Community Radio Broadcasting attended by representatives from the different sectors of the community who compose the Community Radio Council (CRC) headed by Fr. Johny Sumalileng, the elected Chairman.
Prominent media personalities in the broadcast industry were among the trainers: Andy Vital, a seasoned Broadcast Journalist; Mario C. Garcia, a veteran Tri-media Personality and; Francisco “Kiko” Flores, MQ Media Zone Productions Program Director.
As a preliminary of the activity, Ms. Bella Basalong, Nutrition Officer III, NNC-CAR discussed the Regional Nutrition Situtation: Apayao which has a 32.4% prevalence of Underweight (UW) and Severely Underweight (SUW) higher than the regional average which is generally increasing and gave way for National Nutrition Council (NNC) to award the needed equipment and training.
Basalong said that it is timely for a community radio station to arise and become an avenue in supporting healthy diets, promoting dietary guidelines, influencing social norms and advocating for increase of physical activity in the communities.
Apayao is the 37th area in the country where the NNC was able to put in placesimilar projects under the Department of Health (DOH) in its nationwide advocacy for the reduction of malnutrition through community radio network programs such as Katumbas ay Biyaya, Radio Mo sa Nutrisyon, One Nation, One Station and Nutrition School on-the-Air as well as programs and projects from LGU, NGO and other sectoral groups. The establishment of a community radio network of NN is a flagship project of Health Assistant Secretary Maria-Bernardita T. Flores, who is also the concurrent NNC Exectuvie Director.
“As a mandate of the college to provide relevant information to the public, this Nutriskwela Radio Station is a dream come true as a facility of the extension program of the college towards poverty alleviation,” said ASC President Nieves A. Dacyon in an interview aired during the inaugural broadcast.
“To make this Radio Kasaranay an effective facility to Malnutrition Reduction Program (MRP) of the province is both a continuing challenge and commitment,” Dacyon concluded.
Meanwhile, Basalong reiterated the commitment of NNC-CAR for support by providing training for broadcasters, purchase of equipment and maintenance of partnership for the sustainability of the Nutriskwela Radio Station.
The high prevalence of malnutrition and limited access to commercial radio qualified the SUC to avail such benefit as stated in the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed between ASC and NNC.
This entails sharing of common goal of promoting good nutrition among the general public between the parties involved through dissemination of correct, current and relevant information on nutrition and health, as well as livelihood, education and developmental information from all relevant sectors in the community, government agencies and non-government organizations (NGOs).