Heralds of the failing state


THEY’RE known as “public service programs” and have been in Philippine radio for decades, particularly after 1986, when the laws restricting the media were lifted. But they have proliferated in recent years, and every radio station includes at least one example in its programming, although that one may run several hours, in addition to the regular news and commentary programs.

The template is straightforward. The program host accepts complaints from listeners through phone calls and text messages as well as personal visits to the station, puts his phone conversations on the air, reads text messages and interviews complainants.

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