The National Nutrition Council (NNC) recently gathered radio station personnel and its institutional partners from its 44 Nutriskwela community radio stations from all over the country for the 9th National Conference of the Nutriskwela Community Radio Network Program. The annual conference, which was held in Iloilo City on 15-17 January 2019, was conducted to strengthen the operations of the stations to be able to promote nutrition and development in the broadcast areas. Updates on nutrition, community broadcasting and to share and discuss practices and concerns in managing and operating radio stations were also discussed.
It was emphasized that for positive nutrition behaviors to happen, the radio stations need to step up their programming on nutrition. Participants identified potential nutrition radio programs that could be aired in all the stations. Also, to further strengthen the network, participants agreed to organize the stations and the station personnel into an association. A working group was organized composed of various personnel from 7 Nutriskwela stations.
A highlight of the conference was the 4th Nutriskwela Community Radio Awards, where the NNC recognized radio stations and individual station personnel for their efforts to achieve for quality broadcasting and station management. Radyo Kaabyanan hauled majority of the awards while Radyo Kailian in Sta. Maria, Ilocos Sur bagged the Best Radio Station for the 4th time. The following are the awardees of the 4th Nutriskwela Awards:
- Best Radio Station – Radyo Kailian, Sta. Maria, Ilocos Sur
- Best Radio Studio – Radyo Kaabyanan, Sibalom, Antique
- Most Supportive Partner – Radyo Kasannangan, Bongao, Tawi-Tawi
- Best Sectoral Program – Radyo Kaabyanan
- Most Innovative Program – Radyo Kaabyanan
- Best Production Values - Radyo Kaisahan, Sariaya, Quezon; Radyo Karruba, Bauko, Mountain Province; and Radyo Komunidad, Isabela City, Basilan
- Best Original Nutrition Plug – Radyo Kaabyanan
- Best Nutrition Radio Program– Radyo Kailian
- Best Nutrition Radio Programming – Radyo Kaabyanan
- Most Active in Social Media – Radyo Kaabyanan
- Best Special Coverage of an Event – Radyo Katabang, Vinzons, Camarines Norte
- Best Program Manager – Jocelyn Sales of Radyo Kaisahan, Sariaya, Quezon; Ryan Wenceslao of Radyo Kausbawan, Palompon, Leyte; and, Dr. Eleanor Jornada of Radyo Kaabyanan
- Best Writer – Vida Maddasali of Radyo Kasannangan
- Best Radio Technician – Reynante Langcuyan Sr. of Radyo Kasannangan
- Best Broadcaster, Male – Rodel Esler of Radyo Kaabyanan
- Best Broadcaster, Female – Rothelia Ugsad of Radyo Kausbawan
In her welcome message, Asst. Secretary of Health and NNC Executive Director Maria-Bernardita Flores said that “the foundation of the Nutriskwela program is deeply rooted on the true definition of a community radio station as taught to us by our dear friend, the late Ka Louie Tabing who helped us start Nutriskwela. He leaves us a legacy that community radio is operated in the community, for the community, about the community and by the community. Let us always keep this in mind. We are doing all of these for the community, our people. Our programs are all about the community, serving the community, involving them and equipping them toward improved nutrition and development”.
Another highlight of the conference was the observation tour to Nutriskwela Radyo Kaabyanan in Sibalom, Antique. The benchmarking showed the conference participants what it takes to successfully operate a community radio station and, hopefully, inspire them and provide the impetus to continue their efforts to make their respective radio station the best.
The NNC plans to expand the existing 44 stations to another 6 stations. The NNC is the sole government agency granted by the National Telecommunications Commission to hold franchise to operate community radio stations in the country.