Transforming B’laan Communities through Communication: The Case of UP Manila Community Health and Development Program


Twenty four B'laan residents of Barangay Kalkam in Tupi, South Cotabato were surveyed to determine how UP Manila Community Health and Development Program (CHDP) attempted to transform them by exploring normative changes. Anchored on transformational communication framework inspired by Flor and Smith (1997), the study identified the communication approaches employed in transforming B'laan's responses to CHDP using Knowledge, Attitude and Practice (KAP) study; and elicit findings on normative changes through videography. Results showed that health communication interventions are limited to printed media and face-to-face communication; Health Development Education is moderately understandable, readable, and accessible (mean = 2.75); and social mobilization efforts involved little participation (mean = 2.4). It was also revealed that systems approach to communication is open and participatory, but not feedback-driven. Respondents believed that CHDP is not difficult to follow, convincing, ethical and can improve healthy lifestyle (mean = 3.24). Using videographic codes, normative changes on issues pertaining to malnutrition, dengue campaign and teenage pregnancy were not evident. Although CHDP is currently not operationalizing the ideal development communication intervention which triggers societal transformation among B'laan entities, the rich use of interpersonal verbal messages, frequent personal interaction and the use of indigenous media can be improved to transform them.

Author Information
Ena Marie Dizon, Malayan Colleges Mindanao, The Philippines

Paper Information
Conference: MediAsia2018
Stream: Critical and Cultural Studies, Gender and Communication

This paper is part of the MediAsia2018 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon