DZMM: Public service on and off air
- Cheeko B. Ruiz () - March 11, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Communication is more than just exchanging words and ideas. Media have become not only a means of imparting a message, but has proven to be an important factor in putting public service into action. This call to go beyond reporting has been a challenge taken on by dzMM as it lives up to its credo, “Una sa Balita, Una sa Public Service.”

Celebrating its 25th year, dzMM, the flagship AM station of ABS-CBN, has continuously embarked on programs and projects to cater to the various needs of the public.

“On a daily basis, we have the very fundamental news reporting which is one form of public service, and even the commentaries for that matter. We have programs that give legal advice, entrepreneurial advice and the like,” says Peter Musngi, head of the Manila Radio Division of ABS-CBN, adding that public service is foremost in their minds in terms of programming.

Radio anchor Ted Failon distributes backpacks during Oplan MM.

Among the prime programs of dzMM are “Aksyon Ngayon Global Patrol” which bridges government officials and the public, “Usapang de Kampanilya” which dishes out legal advice for free, “Radyo Negosyo” which gives listeners tips for more productive lives as entrepreneurs, “Konsyumer Atbp.” which provides the public proper information on consumer rights and responsibilities and product quality and safety, “SikaPinoy” that suggests creative and effective methods to promote small businesses and “Trabaho Panalo” that provides people with information on career options and labor-related issues.

“On ‘Teleradyo,’ we have the MMDA traffic camera and weather updates. When you think about it, these are just simple things but are still a form of public service. In fact, even the ‘Dr. Love Radio Show’ helps the people with their problems concerning love, family and relationships,” Musngi adds with a smile.

Aside from these radio programs, dzMM also has a variety of public service projects.

With reporters being first on the scene in any disaster, the station is well aware of the people’s needs each time calamity strikes.

SILVER SERVICE: Children enjoy the rides at Enchanted Kingdom during the “Maligayang Paslit“ outreach program.

“Suffice it to say that when there is a disaster, we respond right away,” saysMusngi. “And the people of ABS-CBN, including the news anchors, voluntarily participate in our relief operations.”

The “Kapamilya Shower Van,” for example, is a project which was created for the victims of tropical storm “Ondoy” who were unable to bathe for several days.

“As the victims were entering the mobile shower facility, they were given shampoo, soap, towel, everything they needed. After bathing, you can just imagine the smile on their faces,” Musngi recalls.

A similar van was also brought to Cagayan de Oro for the victims of tropical storm “Sendong.”

When it comes to health, dzMM’s radio programs include “Dra. Bles@Your Serbis” that brings to the public their very own on-air resident doctor and “Magandang Gabi Dok” that discusses all kinds of health concerns.

Oplan MM brings free medical and dental check-ups to needy barangays.

Turning their words into viable action, the station has various health-related projects including a Clinic-on-Wheels which offers free physical check-ups and medication to indigent patients. 

The project is held twice a month together with Classrooms-on-Wheels, both of which are components of the TLC (Teaching, Loving, Caring) civic project of dzMM in partnership with St. Luke’s Medical Center, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), Husay Pinay, Lingkod ER Foundation, Mario’s Kitchen, La Salle, Philippine Dermatological Society and the Kalookan Filipino-Chinese Charity Clinic, among others.

Since its launch in November 2010, more than 35,000 individuals have benefited from the project.

Meanwhile, once a year, dzMM holds the “Buntis Congress” where soon-to-be mothers are given tips on safe motherhood, child care, responsible parenthood and breastfeeding.

“We have emergency surgeries and hospitalization. We are just very lucky that we have our generous partners and donors who support us in our endeavors, ” Musngi adds.

The “Kapamilya Shower Van“ gives flood victims the simple but much-appreciated luxury of a shower.

With public service initiatives all year round, the station also holds an annual “Takbo Para sa Karunungan” and “Takbo Para sa Kalikasan,” and “Search for Global Pinoy Singing Idol.”

Proceeds of the “Takbo Para sa Karunungan,” which was initially staged in 2011, benefited 25 incoming grade 1 students from different parts of Metro Manila.

On the other hand, “Takbo Para sa Kalikasan” is being done in support of the rehabilitation of the La Mesa Watershed, mangroves in Manila Bay, and cleanup of the Pasig River.

For indigent kids, there is the “Maligayang Paslit” outreach program where the children are treated to a fun-filled Christmas.

During the celebration of dzMM’s silver anniversary last year, a special Christmas activity was thrown for TLC’s 25 scholars, their parents and families.

The families were taken to Enchanted Kingdom where they enjoyed the theme park as well as free meals, games and loads of toys and gift packs from dzMM and its partners.

Anchor Bernadette Sembrano interviews a child during a Classroom-on-Wheels drive.

In the past, dzMM also held the “Maligayang Paslit: Binyagang Bayan,” a mass christening of children from newborn to seven years old and, for young adults, there was the “Salute to the Valedictorians” which gave recognition to valedictorians of the National Capital Region’s public secondary schools, for working hard to attain the highest rank in their class.

Public service, says Musngi, is their way of giving back to the people who have been very supportive of their programs, as evident in the results of ratings surveys.

The feeling is that they always vote for you, that is why you are always number one. They trust you – that is why they listen to you,” Musngi says.

Countless award-giving bodies including the Golden Dove, Catholic Mass Media Awards, UP Gandingan Awards, USTV Awards, PMAP (People Management Association of the Philippines), and the New York Radio Festival Awards have likewise recognized their noble efforts.

“The high ratings are votes of confidence. And we are humble enough to say that we are a work in progress. We always tell ourselves, what is it that we can do better every day. We set the bar higher,” he said.

Musngi, who was cited at the 2011 CEO Excel Awards (Communication Excellence in Organizations Award) last year, stresses the importance of communication in the achievement of goals.

Volunteers donate blood (above) and receive donations (inset) for dzMM’s projects.

“You know you can affect so many people in so many ways. That’s a huge responsibility. But we’re up for the challenge,” he says as dzMM continues to deliver public service beyond reporting.

“We want dzMM to retain the trust and confidence of the people. So we will remain truthful, balanced, entertaining and of course, a kapamilya.”

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