Bayan Mo iPatrol Mo (BMPM) is the citizen journalism arm of ABS-CBN. It is People Power defined by technology – “ordinary citizens to take the power of the media literally into their own hands.”
But BMPM is more than that. It represents Convergence for Nation-building — citizens with access to the latest communications technology, and users of “new” media, collaborating with “traditional” media to serve those who do not. BMPM breaks down traditional gate-keeping by creating a hybrid of professional and citizen journalists to create an army for change.
BMPM responds to Filipinos’ thirst for change and their desire to take action. The multi-platform unit allows citizens to tell stories about their lives and communities from their own perspective and in their own voice. Professional journalists help that the final output hews to the standards and ethics of the profession.
BMPM, which was launched in 2007 during an election year, initially focused on reports of cheating and other misdeeds during the political exercise. In 2010, the callout for was “Ako Ang Simula” to highlight the power of the individual to change society.
Between elections, Bayan Patrollers – our citizen journalist partners — shifted their sights to anomalies in governance and natural and man-made disasters. Since 2010, however, Bayan Patrollers have gone beyond vigilance and expanded the breadth and depth of their reports – and engagement in nation-building.
Buoyed by hope and confidence, Patrollers reached out to each other and created small action groups within and beyond the formal supervision of BMPM. These circles of positive influence widened with the aid of communications technology, to include all corners of the world that host our overseas Filipino workers.
Patrollers now independently swing into disaster mitigation and relief operations. They have constructed roads in the provinces. They have established plazas and community centers in urban communities. They have beefed up security in their villages. They have helped poor students and patients and arranged emergency health care in a few cases. The Army of Change has become a potent Force for Good. And in most of these cases, the efforts were independent of any government aid.
This qualitative leap in citizenship, and Bayan Patrollers’ realization that bayanihan and kabayanihan are as infectious as the dreaded disease of corruption, gave rise to the new shoutout for Halalan 2013 – TAYO NA!
BMPM has been known asBotoMoiPatrol Mo during elections. However, since 2010, ABS-CBN’s news and current affairs department realized citizens’ response and initiatives make the shift in name unnecessary.
Citizens have already shown their mettle as Boto Patrollers. Now they are showing that elections, while important, are not the end-all, be-all of national life. Bayan Patrollers have shown an amazing ability to synergize the gains attained by reformed polls and the lessons harnessed while learning to navigate the governance highway.
BMPM now has close to 400,000 members. Since Independence Day 2012, when it launched Halalan 2013-TayoNa, BMPM has given intensive citizen journalism workershops for more than 4,000 youth and provided voters’ education for another 20,000 in various fora and symposium.