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BSWM culminates three-month anniversary activities

By Ms. Aurora Manalang – June 10, 2014

The Bureau of Soils and Water Management celebrated itsculminating activities for its 63rd Anniversary last June 4-5, 2014. This year’s anniversary theme, “BSWM One with DA: Bridge the gap, touch the hearts. Focus our minds, deliver results.”

The two-day event culminates the anniversary celebration which started in March with the Fun Run during the Kick-Off activities, followed by the conduct of Capacity Building Workshop for BSWM employees.

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June 4 has been devoted to the BSWM Employees wherein service and loyalty awards were recognized. During the program, 17 employees received loyalty awards. The special awards for the Capacity Building were also given as well as the winners of the Sportsfest 2014 for various categories.

It was also during this event wherein the Soft Launching of BSWM Initiatives with partners on the Upgrading of Soils Laboratory was conducted. Specifically, these included (1) Organic Agriculture Program and the Philippine Standard on Organic Fertilizer; (2) Soil Fertilizer Lime Calculator with ACIAR partner; (3) Soil Health Card with International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT); and Mobile Soil Clinic with DA-ITCAF and NFA.

The launching activities were witnessed by Director Silvino Tejada, OIC Assistant Director Gina P. Nilo and ICRISAT Representative, Dr. G Pardhasaradhi, DA Central Office (ITCAF), DA Regional Offices and Laboratories, NFA, farmers and other stakeholders. The Soil Health Cardswere distributed to the farmer beneficiaries from Quezon and Zamboanga.

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The anniversary highlight which was held in June 5 is a day-long activity. It started with the Covenant Tree Planting at BSWM Retirees’Garden led by Dir. Tejada, Division and Center Chiefs,all employees and guests.The Tree symbolizes commitment and unity of every employee to the agency. The Program Proper was held at the Convention Hall. DA Assistant Secretary Allan Q. Umali delivered the message of DA Secretary, Honorable Proceso J. Alcala, and led in the awarding of the BSWM Winning Team.

Present during the program were World Bank Representative, Ms. Carol Geron; DA-STAG Technical Adviser, Ms. Sally Bulatao; Regional Executive Director; Regional Soils Laboratory Personnel; Bureau of Animal Industry Assistant Director Simeon Amurao; Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority Director, NorlitoGicana; AMTEC, Engr. Darwin C. Aranguen; Philippine Nuclear Research Institute, Dr. Roland Rallos; PDS Director Zeny Villegas; ITCAF Assistant Director, Dr. HonorioFlameño; Ms. Lanie Cuenca and Cons Abraham from the Speakers and Trainers Bureau; Singing Duets panel of judges, Ms. Roy Cabailo, Mr. Renato Batucan and Eli Eldefonso; ICRISAT’s Rep, Dr. G Pardhasaradhi; JIRCAS representatives,Dr. Junko Goto; Dr. K. Sakay; and foremost the BSWM retirees.

It was also during this activity the Office of the Director gave recognition to theBSWM Winning Team. They were the -- Agricultural Land Management and Evaluation Division (ALMED); Cartographic Operations Division (COD); Integrated Resources Research Services (ISRIS); Laboratory Services Division (LSD); Soil and Water Resources Research Division (SWARRD); Water Resources and Management Division (WRMD); Three National Soils Station: Tanay, Rizal, San Ildefonso, Bulacan, DalwanganBukidnon; Soil Conservation and Management Division (SCMD); Soil Survey Division (SSD); Administration Unit/ Directors’ Office; The Finance Group (Budget, Cashier, Accounting); The Procurement Group and the Bidding and Awards Committee (BAC).

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Likewise, recognitions were also awarded to the performing team of the Cloudseeding; the Expanded Modified Rice Composting (EMRC) Program Team; The Soil and Water Area Coordinators (SWAC’s); the Organic Agriculture Program Group; the RICE and CORN Program Team; the Frontline Information Desk Officers (FIDOs) from the Client Center; and the Outstanding Employees (Individual Category).

The Vulnerability and Suitability Assessment (VSA) Team, Dr. Silvino Q. Tejada, Dr. Gina P. Nilo, Ms. Juliet Manguerra, Mr. Dante Margate and Ms. Sarah Buarao, were given Plaque of Recognition;while Dir. Silvino Q. Tejada received the Special Recognition “Leadership Award”, from the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Hon. Proceso J. Alcala and led in the awarding of the BSWM Winning Team.

The BSWM Team Songs were presented during the 63rd Anniversary celebration. The song “Lupa at TubigPagyamanin” which expressesBSWM commitments to sustainable use of soil and water resources was adopted from the song Kapayapaan by Tropical Depression, while the BSWM Winning Song was adopted from Awitin Mo at IsasayawKo by VST which expresses value statement of BSWM. In the afternoon celebration, the 2014 Singing Duet was followed. Ms. Diana Escote and Ebenezer Zabat from the Water Resources Management Division (WRMD) were the champions for the competition who rendered the song “Unforgettable” by Natalie Cole and Nat King Cole.

Related Activities

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The anniversary activities started in March during the conduct of Kick-Off Ceremony. It was in March 17 when the Fun Run was held at the Wildlife Center. The activity coincided with the celebration of the Women’s Month, likewise signaled the commencement of the BSWM Sports Festival.

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The parade of Team Colors was held at the BSWM Grounds. Director Silvino Tejada delivered the Welcome Remarks,while Dr. Gina P. Nilo, the Chairperson and Over-all Coordinator of the 63rd Anniversary Celebration led the Oath of Sportsmanship. The Ceremonial Toss followed thereafter.

Sports activities which included volleyball, badminton, table tennis, darts, and chess were held from April to May.

In the advent of the implementation of the BSWM Rationalization Plan, a Capacity Building was conducted among all employees from March to May 2014. The program aims to further strengthen and invigorate the men and women behind the recognition of the BSWM as one of the best Bureaus’ of the Department of Agriculture for the year 2013.

The lead Trainer was Mr. Dino H. Santos, the Talent Management Services Director from the South East Asia Speaker and Trainers Bureau, Inc. He explained that the Capacity Building objectives were: (1.) To strengthen institutional capacity in the delivery of services; (2.) To strengthen commitment, motivation and contribute as key player and (3.) to instigate a sense of goal oriented camaraderie for each division and unit in the bureau.

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During the Layer I trainings (held in Caliraya, Laguna), the importance of Team Work has been emphasized. Structured learning exercises were conducted to give focus on the four levels of team development and 5 C’s of teamwork: 1) Coordination, 2) Control, 3) Cohesion, 4) Command and 5) Communication.

Among the simulation activities were -- “Toxic Tower” exercise, a structured learning event for surfacing the value of planning, communication, cooperation and coordination; “The TUNNELS” to surface the need for planning and improving output though continuous process improvement; “The Gorilla Run” exercise which was designed to build concern over meeting or exceeding the specified output.

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During Layer II (held in Tayabas, Quezon), 186 BSWM employees actively participated. Many exciting group activities were also undertaken like the “The Keepsake,” a structured learning event designed to encourage and earn trust from one another; “The Gifts,” a group dynamic exercise designed to allow participants to offer meaningful assistance to each other; “The Covenant,” a spiritual group dynamic designed to build hope in the future and trust in the Lord for the support of the agency; “The Trust Fall,”to entrust safety to another individual; and “The Star Track Factory,” a structured learning event for surfacing the value of effective communication, tolerance and self-sacrifice to meet the agency’s goals. This training formed individual’s commitment, spirituality, and inter-functional relationship.

Another major output of the activity is the composition of the BSWM Team Song. The BSWM arranged the song ”Lupa’tTubigPangalagaan” (from Kapayapaan by Tropical Depression); and “Yan Ang Winning Team” (from Awitin Mo, IsasayawKo by VST & Company) which were well-appreciated by the trainers.

Map Portal

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During the June 5 celebration, BSWM Director, Dr.Silvino Q. Tejada formally launched the MAP PORTAL ( The map portal features a library of over 2,500 maps which are products of 15 years of fieldworks, validation and consultations with stakeholders concerned with the rational utilization of our natural resources.

These maps provide baseline information that are valuable for planning purposes including potential agricultural development and strategic prioritization of commodities. It was realized though the general funding support from the World Bank-Global Facility for Disaster Risk Reduction (WB-GFDRR) in collaboration with the IT infrastructure assistance from the DA-Information Technology Center (DA-ITCAF)as host of the system.

Director Tejada added that the design and development were meticulously done by the VSA Team of BSWM, Dr. Silvino Q. Tejada, Dr. Gina P. Nilo, Ms. Juliet Manguerra, Mr. Dante Margate and Ms. Sarah Buarao, and the DA-ITCAF, including the review of individual maps that comprise the database.

Present during the ceremonial activity were Ms. Carolina Geron of World Bank; DAAsec. Allan Umali; Ms. Sally Bulatao of DA-STAG; and Dir. Silvino Q. Tejada, Dr. Gina P. Nilo, Ms. Juliet Manguerra, Mr. Dante Margate and Ms. Sarah Buarao of BSWM; and Dr. Flameño Honorio and Mr. Wilfredo Mogado of ITCAF.

Updated Laboratory Manual

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The Updated Laboratory Manual for Soil, Water, Plant Tissue and Fertilizer Analysis were distributed among the Regional Soils Laboratories and other agencies including the -- PCA, BAI, BFAR, BPI, FPA, REDs, DAF-ARMM Regional Secretary, PSAE, AMTEC CEAT-UPLB, CSU, PNRI, PRC Board of Agriculture, PHILRICE.Dr. Gina P. Nilo, Chief of the Laboratory Services Division stated that they reviewed and revised theManual to come up with a standard set of methods that will be used by the DA’s Regional Provincial Laboratories.

She added that the manual will not only providethe administrators, farmer-clients and other stakeholders correct data analysis and prescription for soil nutrient management and rehabilitation, but this will also empower them to achieve our vision of a holistic, sustainable and inclusive growth in the countryside.

The manual was endorsed by Secretary Proceso J. Alcala, for implementation and adoption by all DA Regional Executive Directors, Regional Secretary of DAF-ARMM and BSWM Director, through Memorandum Circular No. 04 dated May 29, 2014 and Memorandum dated June 3, 2014.

The Guide to Fertilizer Recommendation for Rice and Corn

The updated Guide to Fertilizer Recommendation for Rice and Corn was made for our farmers and other stakeholders as reference and tool in making decision as to what type and amount of fertilizer and mode of application are needed for the said crops.

With the updated version, several options are provided to accommodate local situations such as the availability of fertilizer materials, cost of fertilizer and farmers’ preference. This recommendation also considered the combination of organic fertilizer to enhance and sustain soil fertility.

The Upgrading of Soils Laboratory

The Continuing Programs for the Upgrading of Soils Laboratory was pushed to support the various national agriculture-related programs and projects for sustainable agriculture, to keep abreast with the changing times as well as to uphold the highest standard.

Dr. Nilo announced that the LSD acquired new equipment through different projects with support from its partners: High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP), Philippines Climate Change Adaptation Project (PHILCCAP), AustralianCenter for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), Organic Fertilizer Production Program (OFPP) and National Organic Agriculture Program (NOAP).

The Upgrading of Soils Laboratory in support to NOAP will enhance efficiency in analyzing Organic Fertilizer, composts, water, soil and plant tissue. It also intends to expand its services for the analysis of heavy metals which maybe fund from organic fertilizers.

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