Friday, September 17, 2021

Reporter’s Notebook turns 15

AWARD-WINNING investigative program Reporter’s Notebook, hosted by Maki Pulido and Jun Veneracion, is celebrating its 15 years on Philippine television.

Maki shares that for the anniversary special, they will tackle issues based on the everyday concerns of Filipinos.

“We’re going to discuss current issues na malapit sa sikmura. And we need to compare it with Southeast Asian neighbors. Nakausad nga tayo before, pero nakaungos na nang kaunti ‘yung iba. And then we have to discuss why. So for the 15th anniversary, we’re going to discuss issues with international comparison.”

This Thursday, November 21, Reporter’s Notebook airs the first installment to their four-part anniversary special “Crossing Borders.”

The Philippines has once been called the “Next East Asian Tiger Economy.” It was also the first country in Southeast Asia to have a metro railway system. Once regarded as a rice exporter, the Philippines also had one of the highest literacy rates all over Asia in the 1980s.

In the past decades, how has the Philippines fared compared to its neighboring countries in Southeast Asia?

Maki goes to Thailand to report on the current state of its transportation — one of the determinants of a country’s development.

Inside the Suvarnabhumi International Airport, a train takes you directly to Bangkok. Exiting the Airport Link, one can transfer to another Bangkok railway system called the MRT line which is connected to various points in the city. They also have a Skytrain.

The traffic situation in Bangkok during rush hour is the same as that of Metro Manila. Reporter’s Notebook’s team tries to take the BRT or Bus Rapid Transit to find out how different it is from the bus transit here in Metro Manila. Aside from the massive train network, Bangkok also makes use of their river and canal systems as an alternative means of transportation. The presence of footbridges in the city is evident as well.

For overseas Filipino worker Set Encina, who has been living in Bangkok for four years, one can really feel the difference between the transport systems of Bangkok and Manila. Here in the Philippines, Maki talks to the government agencies tasked to improve traffic and transportation infrastructure to find out more about their efforts.

For the past 15 years, Reporter’s Notebook has reported on significant issues that needed to be put under a spotlight.

“We discuss a lot of issues of social importance. Importante na lengthily. Para talagang nadi-discuss nang mahaba-haba. And in the process I’m hoping na may makapanood, may magising, may maging aware. Because for me, when the people are informed on every aspect ng social issues, then you have an empowered population,” says Maki.

Maki, who has been with Reporter’s Notebook for the past 13 years, shares that hosting the public affairs program is a “humbling” experience, especially since it has been consistently receiving recognitions from award-giving bodies here and abroad including the New York Festivals, the U.S. International Film and Video Festival, and the Association for International Broadcasting Awards among others.

“It’s difficult to reach this milestone,” she admits especially since the stories they tackle are issues that greatly affect the country and the Filipinos. “Sometimes it’s difficult to receive awards with the kinds of stories that we do. So minsan iniisip ko nalang, when we receive awards, that at least we gave voice to the marginalized sector.”

For Maki, the attention given to the stories they tackle will hopefully lead to more discussion and more solutions.

Watch the first part of “Crossing Borders” on Reporters’ Notebook, this Thursday after Saksi on GMA-7. (PR)


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