Local Chapter Leaders of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) from all over the country focused on the role of broadcast media in preparing local communities for natural disasters and in mitigating the impact of climate change during the 17th Cerge Remonde Chapter Leaders Conference last April at the Taal Vista Hotel in Tagaytay City.

Although broadcasting has a nationwide reach, most broadcasts are oriented to the local community and the local audiences’ needs and concerns. This makes broadcast stations, especially radio, a powerful force in mobilizing the populace during natural calamities and emergencies. Member stations of the KBP are organized into Chapters to facilitate the implementation of programs and projects of the broadcast media association.

KBP LOCAL CHAPTERS

Station Managers from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao during the KBP Local Chapters Conference in Tagaytay last April. Seated at center is KBP President Herman Z. Basbaño. To his right is Dr. Cecille Dy, KBP Trustee.

Media Invaluable

During the conference, Dr. Cedric Daep, Executive Director of the Climate Change Academy in Albay province shared the lessons learned by the province on how media can play an effective role not only during but also before and after the occurrence of natural disasters. Albay, under the helm of Governor Joey Salceda, has been recognized by international and local developmental agencies, including the UN, for its successful management of disaster risks.

Daep said that the media has a valuable role in minimizing the number of casualties and the amount of damage during disasters and in reducing uncertainty and the cost of undertaking efforts to reduce risks during disasters. Daep said that local media is invaluable in helping find people who need to be rescued or helped during disasters. He said that media is also important in helping assess risks and damages and in improving policies on disaster risk reduction and management.

Emergency-Preparedness Infochart

During the conference, Director Renato Solidum of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) briefed participants on the Emergency-Preparedness Infochart — a manual designed particularly for broadcasters to understand and properly communicate information on natural hazards, including floods, typhoons, storm surges, earthquakes and tsunamis. disasters such as tsunami, volcanic eruptions, and landslides. Solidum said the Philippines ranks No. 3 among countries most exposed to natural hazards according to the World Risks Report for 2012.