Aug 112014

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Filipino Community in the United States will now be able to listen to daily news updates from GMA Network, one of the largest broadcasters in the Philippines, as part of a public diplomacy initiative being undertaken by the Philippine Embassy in cooperation with AudioNow, the world’s leading call-to-listen platform.

The Embassy announced today that as part of its efforts to better serve the diaspora, it was able to convince GMA’s premier radio station, DZBB, to offer US-based Filipinos daily five-minute news headlines on any phone through a simple telephone call.

In a statement, the Embassy said GMA Network joins other industry leaders, such as Veritas 846 AM, the Catholic Media Network, and the People’s Television Network, as a part of a public diplomacy initiative to serve the Philippine diaspora in the US with greater access to media. The pioneering initiative also features Radyo Tambuli, a virtual radio station created by the Embassy exclusively for the Filipino Community that broadcasts news, interviews, folk music and opinion polls.

“We applaud GMA’s initiative to join in our efforts with other leading Filipino broadcasters to serve the diaspora. This is another great step towards a digital public diplomacy for the Embassy,” said Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr.

GMA’s flagship AM radio station DZBB, established in 1950 in a small office space in Manila, has become one of the most awarded radio stations in the Philippines by the Association of Broadcasters in the Philippines (Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas), and serves the entire Manila region as well as millions of Filipinos living abroad.

Radio veteran Mike Enriquez hosts popular morning news program Super Balita sa Umaga Nationwide and Saksi sa Dobol B, which features segments such as Bara-Bara and Sports Saksi. For the first time ever, digests from Enriquez’s daily headlines will be aired to Filipinos in the United States through a simple telephone call from any phone.

To listen, simply call 712.432.9777 from any phone. Calls use mobile minutes and incur no extra charges.

“We are excited to partner with the Embassy of the Philippines on this project, and to use AudioNow’s call-to-listen service as a new alternative to better serve our listeners,” said Enriquez, who is also GMA consultant for radio operations, and Saksi sa Dobol B show host.

This arrangement was made possible through GMA International, which manages the operations and distribution of the Network’s international channels, GMA Pinoy TV, GMA Life TV and GMA News TV International.

“It is our goal to bring Filipinos abroad closer to home by providing them with accurate, relevant and reliable news and information. And we hope that through this project, we are able to do so in a faster and more convenient manner,” said GMA Vice President and Head of International Operations, Joseph T. Francia.

At a time when data costs continue to rise and the price for voice minute plans plummet, using voice minutes to listen to radio has become one of the most affordable and open ways to access news.

“We welcome the GMA Network to our platform,” said AudioNow CEO and Chairman Elan Blutinger. “We look forward to connecting DZBB to the Filipino diaspora and stand ready to be of service to any other Filipino broadcaster that wants to extend their reach.”

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