The Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) was cited for its initiatives in communicating agricultural development during the recent Binhi Awards held March 22 at the Makati Diamond Residences in Makati City.

Established in 1978, Binhi Awards is an annual competition organized by the Philippine Agricultural Journalists Inc. in cooperation with the San Miguel Corporation that recognizes communication efforts in the agriculture, environment, and agrarian reform sector.

Jayson C. Berto, PhilRice DevCom communication specialist, received his second win as the competition’s Agri Photo Journalist of the Year. The five-man board of judges, led by communication pioneer, Dr. Crispin Maslog, was impressed with Berto’s perspectives on youth and women in agriculture and rice science technologies.

Meanwhile, the National Rice Awareness Month, which encouraged the public to eat the right proportion of rice and its healthy forms such as brown rice and rice mixes, won as the Agri Information and Media Campaign of the Year. The campaign resulted in the passage of about 70 ordinances and resolutions on the inclusion of half-cup servings and brown rice in food establishments.

PhilRice Magasin, the Institute’s magazine published in Filipino, was declared Agriculture Magazine of the Year. The winning issue featured farmers’ success stories in availing government programs, use of cost-reducing and yield-enhancing technologies, hybrid rice adoption, and the business side of producing rice.

Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol, event’s keynote speaker, urged the reporters to strengthen their group as the country bid for “available and affordable” food and self-sufficiency.

“We have to intensify our efforts in promoting the government’s programs to the farmers so that they can be equipped with enough information for them to achieve progress and for the agriculture industry to be competitive. The DA will assist you in your communication endeavors…. Let’s work in unison,” he emphasized.

Piñol also led the bestowing of posthumous award to “Ka Louie” Tabing, founding chair of the Philippine Federation of Rural Broadcasters, anchor of popular early morning Sa Kabukiran radio program, and one of PhilRice media partners.

The winners, who bested more than 150 entries, receive cash prizes, ranging from P15,000 to P50,000, and Binhi trophies.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) is a government corporate entity attached to the Department of Agriculture created through Executive Order 1061 on 5 November 1985 (as amended) to help develop high-yielding and cost-reducing technologies so farmers can produce enough rice for all Filipinos.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute