THE country’s best agriculture and environment journalists will be honored at the 2018 PAJ-SMC Binhi Awards for excellence in agricultural journalism, on March 28, 2019, 7 p.m., at the Makati Diamond Residences, Makati City.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” F. Piñol will be the main guest of honor and keynote speaker of the annual contest sponsored by San Miguel Corporation (SMC), attracting more than 100 contestants, according to newly-elected PAJ president Alfredo G. Gabot.
Secretary Piñol will be joined at the presidential table by SMC President and Chief Operating Officer Ramon S. Ang, who will share an inspirational message, and former agriculture secretary Senen C. Bacani, who will speak as chairperson of the five-member board of judges.
Incoming PAJ president Alfredo G. Gabot from his Facebook page.
Binhi has long line of tradition
This year’s Binhi awardees will be led by the top three winners in the three major categories — agricultural journalist, environment journalist, and agribeat reporter of the year — who will each receive cash prizes ranging from P50,000 to P20,000, and respective trophies, said Gabot, who also previously served as president of the PAJ and the National Press Club of the Philippines (NPC).
The PAJ has been conducting the Binhi Awards since 1978 to recognize the efforts of media persons covering the agriculture, environment and agrarian reform beats, including writers, editors and broadcast journalists for their reportage, agricultural publications, radio and television programs, and information campaign, said Noel Reyes, PAJ vice president for external affairs and chair of the 2018 PAJ-SMC Binhi Awards committee.
Before the awarding ceremonies, Piñol will induct the 2019-2020 PAJ officers and board of directors, led by Gabot, who will then lead the launch of the inaugural issue of the PAJ Binhi Magazine and new design of the PAJ membership ID, and announce the group’s reactivation as member of the International Federation of Agriculture Journalists, (IFAJ) established in 1956, with a current membership of 5,000 communicators in 50 countries.
The PAJ will also honor five of its colleagues for their respective lifetime achievements and excellence in agricultural journalism, namely: Rodolfo “Rudy” Fernandez (posthumous), of The Philippine Star and University of the Philippines Los Baños; Dr. Anselmo “Ka Elmo” Roque, of The Philippine Daily Inquirer and Central Luzon State University; Ramon Magsaysay Awardee Zac Sarian, Manila Bulletin agriculture section and Agriculture Magazine editor; former National Press Club president, Balita editor, former press undersecretary, and first Binhi awardee as agricultural journalist in Filipino Marcelo Lagmay; and former Philippine News Agency managing editor and PAJ founding director Joaquin “Jake” Espino.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel ‘Manny’ F. Piñol (right) from his Facebook page.
5-man Board of judges
Special awards will also be conferred on Henry Lim Bon Liong, president and CEO of SL Agritech Corp., and PAJ past president Roman Floresca.
Winners in the 12 minor categories of the 2018 PAJ-SMC Binhi Awards will receive P20,000 cash prize and a Binhi trophy, said Reyes. These are the best agri story, feature story, environment story, climate change story, and water sustainability story, best photo journalist, agri section of a national newspaper, magazine, newsletter, radio program, and agri information and advocacy campaign.
All the contestants submitted their bodies of work and stories, published from November 1, 2017 to October 31, 2018, to a five-person board of judges, headed by Bacani, and whose members include: Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Monetary Board member Bruce Tolentino; veteran journalist and educator Dr. Crispin Maslog; SMC AVP for corporate and media affairs Mary Jane Llanes Oconer; and broadcast journalist and former AGHAM party-list representative Angelo Palmones.
Aside from Gabot and Reyes, the other PAJ officers to be inducted are: Fermin Diaz, VP for internal affairs; Ruby Lumongsod, secretary; Aileen Garcia, asst. secretary; Inez Magbual, treasurer; Thelma Tolentino, auditor; Michael Alunan, PRO for print; National Press Club president Rolando Gonzalo, PRO for broadcast; and PAJ directors Dr. Rex Navarro, Johnny Goloyugo, Charisma Love Gado-Gonzales, Melly Tenorio, Dr. Rogelio Matalang, and past president Roman Floresca. (AGG)
Image of onion or “sibuyas” in Pilipino from Facebook page of Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” F. Piñol.