For the 9th consecutive year, via the 2015 Jose G. Burgos, Jr Awards for Biotech Journalism, published news and feature stories on the numerous benefits of biotechnology to the common Filipino have been recognized again last November 25, 2015 at Kalipayan Beach Resort in Dasmariñas City, Cavite.
Organized by J. Burgos Media Services, Inc. and Biotechnology for Life Media and Advocacy Resource Center, the Jose G. Burgos Jr. Awards was one of the main highlights of this year’s National Biotechnology Week (NBW) hosted by Department of Science and Technology (DOST). The said awards aim to push the frontiers of science by popularizing biotech stories, thus making people more aware of this scientific discipline.
For the news category, the story of Henrylito Tacio entitled “Think of These: Understanding BT Technology” bagged first place, followed by Marvin N. Benaning’s article entitled “US environmental scientist claims pesticide use by GMOs on the rise.” Finishing at third place is the story of Joel R. San Jose entitled “Group petitions reversal of CA order vs gene-modified eggplant field tests.” All three articles were published in Business Mirror.
Meanwhile, for the feature category, “Biotech corn making a farmer the community’s VIP” by Clement Dionglay and “Scientific interventions provide healthier rice varieties “by Rowena Galang-Bumanlag received first and second place honors respectively. Both were likewise published in Business Mirror. Rounding up the top three is another story from Tacio entitled “Golden Rice” which was published in Edge Davao.
“We are indeed very happy that this year’s awardees not only come from the journalists in the city but from the provinces as well. This only means that relevant and timely issues on biotechnology are now being disseminated and discussed all over the country” said Dr. Edita Burgos, chairman of Jose G. Burgos, Jr. Awards and wife of journalist Jose Burgos after whom the Awards was named.
Meanwhile, two-time awardee Tacio said that the awards mean so much to him as they signify the importance of his writing, especially in spreading the good news about biotechnology.
“I believe that biotechnology is the answer to the impending food crisis, so that I want people to know the real facts about biotechnology and not to rely on hearsay. As a science journalist, I have to stick with the truth,” he said.
Tacio also won first prize in the news category in 2013, through his article “Golden Rice: The answer to malnutrition problem,”which was published in Sun Star Davao.
Lyn Resurrecion, desk editor of Business Mirror, said that writing and publishing biotech success stories could be a game in a lot of ways, specifically in helping our farmers to understand technologies and knowledge that would enhance the quality of agricultural products.
The Board of Judges is composed of Ester G. Dipasupil, desk editor of Philippine Daily Inquirer; Maria Monina Cecilia A. Villena, special projects coordinator and network administrator of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture Biotechnology Information Center (SEARCA BIC); and Dr. Vivencio R. Mamaril, columnist of Biolife Magazine.
NBW is slated to run until November 28, 2015. It features exhibits, as well as technology forums tackling various biotech applications on agriculture, aquaculture, environment, health, and nutrition.
It is co-organized by DOST with the DOH, DA, DENR, DILG, DTI, DepEd, CHED, and the Biotechnology Coalition of the Philippines.
BIOTECH JOURNALISTS AWARDED. Due to the positive impact of their stories in promoting the role of biotechnology to improve the lives of Filipinos, some of the country’s biotech journalists were recognized at the 2015 Jose G. Burgos Jr. Awards for Biotech Journalism last November 25 at Kalipayan Beach Resort in Dasmariñas City, Cavite. Among them are (holding trophies, from left) Rowena Galang-Bumanlag, second prize winner in the feature category, and Joel R. San Jose, third prize winner in the news category. With them in photo are (from left) Joel Paredes, program director of Biotechnology for Life Media and Advocacy Resource Center; Maria Monina Cecilia A. Villena, special projects coordinator and network administrator of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture Biotechnology Information Center (SEARCA BIC); Ester G. Dipasupil, desk editor of Philippine Daily Inquirer; Lyn Resurrecion, desk editor of Business Mirror; and Dr. Edita Burgos, wife of the late journalist Jose G. Burgos, after whom the Awards was named.