Monday, June 13, 2016

Government to Allot 18M For The Regulation And Control On The Operations Of All Soil Labs In Philippines

The Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Soil and Water Management (DA-BSWM) proposed at least 18 Million Pesos to strengthen the framework for the regulation and control of all soil laboratory establishments and operation in the Philippines under Presidential Decree 1435 (“AUTHORIZING THE BUREAU OF SOILS TO SUPERVISE, REGULATE AND CONTROL THE ESTABLISHMENT AND OPERATIONS OF ALL SOIL LABORATORIES IN THE PHILIPPINES”), authorizing the BSWM as the lead agency.

BSWM Director Silvino Q. Tejada said that the BSWM has initiated Tier II funding meant to subsidize short and medium-term activities for the implementation of PD 1435.

"The BSWM as the leading mandated agency to implement PD 1435 is committed to capacitate all the Regional Soils Laboratories (RSL) to ready ourselves for this important undertaking which will be a close coordination between BSWM and RSLs," Tejada said.

The BSWM’s Laboratory Services Division (LSD) led by Dr. Gina P. Nilo guaranteed that LSD has developed and documented its quality control procedures, test methods, and manuals and that they have been implementing ISO-17025 since April 13 last year. Furthermore, the BSWM laboratory has already acquired a new set of laboratory equipment and has committed itself to upgrading laboratory facilities in order to enable the BSWM to certify applicants' capability to operate and establish a laboratory.

Under PD 1435, BSWM has to set and formulate comprehensive guidelines for the establishment of soil laboratories in the country in addition to supervising and coordinating the technical operations of all private and government-operated soil laboratories. BSWM will also impose fees on private soil labs.

In a survey conducted during the first orientation and consultation meeting for PD 1435 implementation, attended by regional representatives at Apo View Hotel in Davao City, it was found that there are at least 19 laboratories owned and operated by private sectors and at least 29 government laboratories operating nationwide. 
The Bureau will also provide recommendations for the appropriate use of fertilizers and methods to increase food production and properly identify soil amendments, fertilizers and inputs. In addition, a data banking system will also be established and put into operation.

The working Technical Evaluation Team (TET) is also responsible in drafting the IRR to be approved by the BSWM Director.

A second consultation meeting for the formulation of IRR of the technical working group is set to run on the month of June 2016 tentatively to ensure smooth and efficient implementation of PD 1435.

"Measures and guidelines for the effective utilization of soil and water resources as vital agricultural means to attain food security is being formulated by the Bureau and this undertaking serves to provide policy development and perform regulatory functions to serve our farmers and all other stakeholders," Tejada added.

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