Last July 23rd, the newly constituted Oblate Communications Philippinesor OBCOM reconvened after more than a year in the ‘freezer’ resulting from the demise of its chair, Fr. Alfonso Carino, OMI. The OBCOM Philippines is responsible for the publication of the OMI Philippines Newsletter, the OMI Philippines website, and the OMI News Bureau. It also liaises and coordinates with OMI media institutions in the province.
Last June 2009, Fr. Ramon Ma. Bernabe has designated Fr. Jun Mercado to take charge of the OBCOM. After series of consultation the OBCOM has been re-constituted to include among its members lay people who are actually involved in our media institutions - the Notre Dame Broadcasting Corporations with its five stations and the Mindanao Cross.
In its first meeting, the re-constituted OBCOM that now includes our lay partners re-affirm the recommendations of the Inter-Ministry Council meeting held in November 2008 that calls for the ‘Vertical and horizontal integration ofour media institutions (NDBC, Mindanao Cross, i-Watch and OBCOM) for greater impact, cost-efficiency and better collaboration.’This is a commitment that the OBCOM shall pursue in carrying its mandate.
The easiest part of the integration process is the physical one. By September 2009, the physical integration of Mindanao Cross and NDBC - DXMS and DXOL will take place.Hopefully, by October, i-Watch will also be located in the same place thus the physical integration of the media institutions would be complete.
The sharing of the new developments in our media institutions, particularly their flagship programs, is very impressive.The sharing of updates and flagship projects has thrilled everyone, especially of the prospect of closer coordination and exchanges of news and in depth analysis.
The Mindanao Cross is re-inventing itself along the principle of public journalism. With support from CIDA-LGSP, Mindanao Cross, the paper with a big cause, is trail blazing in Region XII and the ARMM with depth coverage and analysis of issues affecting the community. The 2– page addition to the Mindanao Cross is entitled ‘Sanduguan’ (Blood Compact).
The broadcast media (NDBC) with two AM stations (DXMS and DXND) and three FM stations (DXOL, DXDM and DXOM) present four new developments. The first is to become truly the ‘Tingog Mindanaw’ (the Voice of Mindanao), particularly in its news coverage and ‘bantayan’ programs. Second is to give more focus on the dimension of peace building and environmental issues. This includes among others the making of jingles, peace campaign through peace songs and broadcasting of public opinions.
The third is for the FM stations to create new image through “Tayo pa rin Syempre” (still us… always) which tries to be inclusive of the family and the community - young or old.The fourth is the proposal to go on line through the NDBC website. The mechanics and the technology of the fourth proposal is still under study though an experimental website is already operational.
On the OBCOM level, it has been decided to do a bi-monthly issue of the OMI Philippines (Newsletter).The OBCOM Chair will write the district superiors to remind the District secretary to document updates in the district and submit the same to the OBCOM secretariat.Similarly, the OBCOM will ask the district superior to document events relating to OMI personnel, mission and events within the district following the simple method of 5 Ws and 1 H (5 Ws stand for What, Who, Where, When, Why and the 1 H stands for How).
The OBCOM will also initiate a dialogue with the provincial administration on the present website, particularly on the management and updating of the said site. This involves cost and technical ‘knowhow’ to explore possibilities of making the website inter-active and user friendly, as well.
In partnership with the OMI media institutions, there is a need to explore the idea of OMI News Bureau that liaises with other media institution and the OMI Institutions worldwide.
A consensus is growing within the OBCOM and in partnership with OMI Media Institutions (NDBC, MinCross and i-Watch) to focus on issues related to the coming national and local elections and peace and human security. It will also study the possibility of having a common website as a tool to pursue the integration goal.
The special meeting will be attended by Fr. Vasquez of i-Watch; Fr. Domingo and Eva Tan of MinCross; Fr. Rellin, Malu Cadeliña Manar, Jeff Mendez, Grace Vergara-Tanghal and Carlos Agamon of NDBC; Frs. dela Cruz,Lopez and Modesto Pagco, the OBCOM secretariat.The proposed special meeting will be on the 5th of September, Saturday.