UNTV underwater drone: A new first in Philippine broadcast

Marje Pelayo   •   February 7, 2019   •   1617

MANILA, Philippines – UNTV pioneered drone journalism in the Philippines in 2013 during the onslaught of Typhoon Yolanda.

Viewers were given a picture of the devastation in a different perspective uncommon to traditional news reporting.

Through the years, UNTV has shown the public the beauty of different places in the Philippines; the extent of damages brought about by illegal mining; the massive fires; the raging volcanoes and other important events in the country.

This year, UNTV has set another milestone in Philippine broadcast industry with the use of a Remotely-Operated underwater Vehicle (ROV) drone.

This can be used in exploring the beauty of aquatic bodies and the problems that water creatures are suffering as a result of urbanization.

Such is the case in Manila Bay when UNTV explored its seabed to reveal the extent of the damage in its underwater environment.

During UNTV’s Digital Interactive Broadcast, the station’s drone journalism chief Argie Purisima described how the underwater drone struggled during its exploration in Manila Bay.

Ang makikita nyo po sa seabed is puro burak. Maraming mga basura. Katunayan nga, pag-ahon ng drone natin, lahat po ng elesi natin, itong tatlong elisi, punong puno ng basura. Puro mga plastic, (What you can see on the seabed is pure mud. A lot of trash. In fact, when the drone emerged, all its blades were tangled with trash, plastic trash,)Purisima said.

UNTV’s underwater ROV drone can go up to 150 feet underwater.

In Manila Bay, it was able to reach 10-feet deep but the environment was already zero visibility.

Mayroon diyan kuha akala mo corals, parang corals na mga basura. Then iyong iba, burak talaga (In one shot, it looked like corals, corals made of trash. The rest was mud),” he added.

UNTV drone journalism is the brainchild of the company’s
chief executive officer (CEO), Daniel Razon who has contributed a number of innovations in the Philippine broadcast industry.

UNTV is proud to be the only TV station that was given three licenses by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) in June 2015:

*Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPAS) Controller Certificate of Registration (license for drone pilots)   

*Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPAS) Certificate of Registration (license for drone units)    

*Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPAS) Operator Certificate of Registration (company license)     

These certificates attest that all drone units of UNTV are safe to use and can be used for commercial purposes like in news broadcasting. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Three injured in suspected attack near Israeli settlement – military

Robie de Guzman   •   August 23, 2019

Three people were injured in a Palestinian attack near an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank, according to early reports by the Israeli military on Friday (August 23).

A military spokesman said the attack was carried out near Dolev, a settlement northwest of the Palestinian city of Ramallah.

“Three people appear to be injured at the scene,” the spokesman said, adding that troops were searching the area.

Israeli news reports said the wounded were Israelis, and that Palestinians had thrown an explosive charge near a water spring popular with hikers in the hilly central region of the West Bank. The first reports came shortly after 10 a.m. (0700 GMT).

Israel’s Magen David Adom ambulance service said it was treating three people in “serious condition”, including a 46-year-old man, a 21-year-old man and an 18-year-old woman. (Reuters)

(Production: Ismail Khadder, Roleen Tafakji)

Russia’s floating nuclear plant readies for Northern Sea Route

Robie de Guzman   •   August 23, 2019

Russia showcased to the media the world’s first floating nuclear power plant Akademik Lomonosov on Thursday (August 22).

Crew on the Akademik Lomonosov are expected to leave Murmansk for a long journey along the Northern Sea Route to Chukotka in Russia’s far east.

Rosenergoatom deputy director Dmitry Alekseenko said at a news conference that the main advantage of the new type of nuclear plant is its mobility that allows it to reach any point with demand for energy. He also said that it would do no harm to the environment.

Critics, however, warily recall Soviet-era nuclear accidents and Russia’s naval disasters such as the loss of the nuclear-powered submarine Kursk, which sank in the Barents Sea after explosions on board, killing all 118 crew.

In 2018 Greenpeace issued a statement calling Lomonosov a ‘nuclear Titanic’. (Reuters)

(Production: Lev Sergeev, Dmitry Turlyun)

Bolivia ramps up efforts to control wildfires

Robie de Guzman   •   August 23, 2019

Firefighters battle one sector of wildfires at night in Bolivia. (Reuters)

Bolivian firefighters continued battling on Wednesday (August 21) a series of wildfires ravaging swathes of the country from both land and air.

Using a helicopter to dump water on hot spots, firefighters also used dirt and sand to put out smaller flames in Santa Cruz. Television images showed flames dangerously close to the highway that leads to Brazil.

Bolivia’s government has reported that nearly 500,000 hectares of forest have been left charred from wildfires.

This week, authorities warned that 70% of Santa Cruz Department is under “extreme risk” from forest fires.

Environmental organisations have also warned of damage to more than 500 species of fauna, some endemic, after slash-and-burn tactics combined with dry conditions have caused dozens of forest fires in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

Speaking to the media on Wednesday (August 21), President Evo Morales said measures are being stepped up to battle the fires.

Bolivia’s wildfires come as neighbouring Brazil also battles record-breaking fires in its Amazon. (Reuters)

(Production: Monica Machicao)

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