ACE June Rell Perez, SunStar Davao's social media strategist/editor, won in the Jose G. Burgos Jr. Awards for biotechnology journalism held on November 22 at Brentwood Suites in Quezon City.
His entry, "PH is top grower of GM crops in SEA", won for him third in the news story category of the Awards organized by J. Burgos Media Services, Inc. with the support of the Department of Agriculture-Biotechnology Program Office, Biotechnology Coalition of the Philippines and Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture-Biotechnology Information Center.
"With the award, I commit to write more science-based and evidence-based stories. I also encourage my fellow journalists to do the same," Perez said.
The award-giving body is now celebrating its 11th year and the awarding was one of the highlights of the 13th National Biotechnology Week slated November 20 to 24.
Among the awardees were: Business Mirror's Jasper Arcalas (2nd in News story category) for his article "'Use of high-yielding GM varieties will allow farmers to export corn"; Manila Times' James Konstantin Galvez (first) for his article "'Challenged' SEARCA stresses 'safe,scientific" agri technologies.
In feature story category, however, Business Mirror's Stephanie Tumampos won third for her article "Filipino scientists, regulators look into GMO perceptions;" 2nd – Business Mirror's Manuel Cayon for his article "GM crops planted in 185M ha worldwide"; and 1st – Manila Times' James Konstantin Galvez for his article "SEARCA seeks stronger law on biotech crops."
Institutional awards, an award given to media organizations that published most number of biotech-related articles, were also won by BusinessMirror (1st); ManilaTimes (2nd); Philippine Star and Manila Bulletin (tied at 3rd).
Edita Tronqued-Burgos, president of J. Burgos Media Service, Inc. said, "We encourage all stakeholders, especially the media, to continue inform the public about biotechnology and how it can help them improve their lives."
Fr. Emmanuel Alparce, IEC Technical Committee member in DA-Biotech Program Office, added that they are hoping that the media, as gatekeepers of information, push for fact-based and science-based reporting. "May we spread the word that biotech is one of the ways to achieve an agriculture that produces safe, nutritious, enough and affordable food," he said.
Winners brought with them cash prizes, trophies and certificates of recognition.
The Jose Burgos Jr. Awards for biotechnology journalism was established in 2005 to give flesh to the late journalist and farmer Jose Burgos, Jr.'s dream of recognizing members of the media for their outstanding contribution to the promotion of biotechnology. The awards were established to celebrate the spirit conceived from the awards itself – to encourage journalists to push the frontiers of scientific inquiry. (CEA)