News      |      Events

ABU GA – Philippine documentary on education wins 2012 Asia-Pacific Child Rights Award

“I-Witness: Piggy Bank”, a ground-breaking documentary by producer Kara David of GMA Network of the Philippines, has won the 2012 Asia-Pacific Child Rights Award for broadcasting. The award was given out in Seoul, during the ABU Prizes ceremony, which took place alongside the ABU 49th General Assembly.

Filmed in a far-flung village in the Philippines, the 50-minute long film tells the story of 12-year old Anthony, who works hard every day and night to fulfil his dream of getting an education. From catching fish and washing cars to scouring for sea cucumbers at night, he saves every penny he earns in his piggy bank with the goal to be able to go to school.

In the Philippines, there are more than 3 million children who are not in school because of poverty, the demand for child labour, poor health and nutrition and low preparedness for school. Of every 1,000 entrants in Grade One, only seven graduate from Grade Six with sufficient mastery of English, mathematics, and science.

“Poverty, child labour and lack of education are common problems in the Philippines,” said Kara David, the presenter. “Through research, we found out that in Eastern Samar, several minors have little choice but to help their parents earn income — day and night. When Anthony dives and scours the seabed all night to search for a sea cucumber used in Chinese traditional medicine, every breath he holds when diving for sea cucumbers is worth another penny, which would bring him closer to his dream.”

Kara David is a successful documentary producer and internationally recognized child rights advocate. She is a second-time winner of the Asia-Pacific Child Rights Award. Her documentary entitled “Angels in Prison,” examining the plight of young children born and living with their mothers in prisons in the Philippines, won the Asia-Pacific Child Rights Award in 2003.

Dr Javad Mottaghi, Secretary General of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union said “Piggy Bank was a worthy winner and a fine example of the quality of documentary making in the Asia-Pacific region. The story of a small boy battling to make a better life against enormous odds is told with obvious compassion and fearless honesty.”

 “All girls and boys must have the opportunity to go to school, regardless of their family’s income, geographic location or ethnicity,” added Dr Festo Kavishe, UNICEF Deputy Regional Director for East Asia and the Pacific. “Children who attend school not only go on to lead healthier and more productive lives, they also contribute to the development of their communities and strongly advance their countries’ social and economic development. Education is a key opportunity that should be given to every child.”

 “CASBAA congratulates GMA Network of the Philippines for their winning entry,” said Simon Twiston Davies, CASBAA CEO. “Our Association is proud to support the Asia-Pacific Child Rights Award and to provide a platform for filmmakers giving voice to the plight of children across the region.”

The Childs Rights awards are conferred annually during the ABU Awards ceremony, which takes place alongside the ABU General Assembly.  They are jointly supported by the ABU, UNESCO and CASBAA. 

For more information about the Award, this year’s finalists and a Q&A with the winner, please visit: