Promoting the Welfare of Children through television.(Opinion &Amp; Editorial)

Article excerpt

Byline: Loren Legarda

TELEVISION remains today's most powerful medium, with the number of people watching television increasing every year. A large percentage, or an average of about 47 percent, who make up the potential viewing audience are children.

This huge mass of young boys and girls constantly glued to their TV sets has elicited much concern especially in households where parental supervision is absent, and when a child is given the choice to watch whatever he or she wants to view on the tube.

Why is this so? Studies have revealed that television fare in the country, and in most countries in Southeast Asia, have increasingly become violent in context and theme, making the medium a source of concern especially among those who place a premium on exposing their children to the proper values in the early stage of their lives.

This inspired the foundation of the Southeast Asian Foundation for Children's Television (SEAFCTV) to put up shop in 1996. The response was overwhelming will all TV networks as well as cable TV operators joining. The membership also included TV stations in Southeast Asia with the aim of synergizing resources among members to advocate for responsible, quality TV programming for children.

The SEAFCTV's first President, Gina Lopez of ABS-CBN Foundation sums it up quite clearly when she said that "the group seeks to promote awareness of the tremendous role television plays in preparing the children in Southeast Asia to meet the challenges of the 21st century, with values and dignity contributing significantly in its own unique and special way. …