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Voice of the people

Community radio puts the people’s voice on the air in the Philippines

(La voix du peuple La radio communautaire diffuse la voix du peuple philippin)


10 / 1993

INSTITUTIONAL/FINANCIAL SUPPORT: This project is funded jointly by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)and the Danish development aid agency, Danida. DATE OF THE PROJECT: The project began in 1992.

PROJECT SUMMARY: The Tambuli Community media project consists of plans to set up community communications centres in 12 remote villages in the Philippines. Each of these centres will have an FM radio station as its base, supported by a community newsletter, a communications training facility and a livelihood project.

RATIONALE: Radio is the only link to Manila, and to general news and information, for many villagers in the Philippines. The country often experiences day-long power outages across its 7,100 islands. While businessmen and politicians have made full use of the medium, ordinary Filipinos often do not have access to the airwaves.

OBJECTIVES: One of the main objectives of the Tambuli project is to set up a media where the ownership of the radio station is in the hands of the people who represent the community.

METHODS: The 12 project sites chosen for the project are information-poor, economically depressed and isolated. At the same time, they satisfy technical requirements such as being located in a plain with a concentration of population that can be reached by a low-powered transmitter. The project started with a pilot project in a city called Laurel, 100 km south of Manila. A city close to the capital was chosen as it will be easy to monitor. The station’s operations and the programming policies are formulated by a multi-sectoral body with representation from the town’s farmers, fisherfolk, drivers, businesspeople, youth, teachers, the local government, and the church. The decision making process is collective and participatory. The Tambuli project includes a neighbourhood production scheme in which a team from the radio station visits a village in the area to record a programme on location. This component is designed to give people living in remote sections covered by the station the chance to express themselves on radio. These productions are all devised, performed and presented by the local villagers themselves. The only input the station producers have is initially explaining the technical aspects and operating the recorder.


radio communautaire, communication, participation populaire

, Philippines


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