THE 2018 PAJ-SMC Binhi Awards for excellence in agricultural journalism will recognize the most outstanding agriculture and environment journalists on March 28 this year at the Makati Diamond Residences, Makati City.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol will serve as the main guest and keynote speaker of the annual contest sponsored by San Miguel Corporation (SMC), attracting more than 100 contestants nationwide, according to newly-elected PAJ President Alfredo G. Gabot.
The Agriculture chief 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-person board of judges.
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 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.
Special awards will also be conferred on Henry Lim Bon Liong, president and CEO of SL Agritech Corp., and PAJ past president Roman Floresca.