Along with the rise of and continuous journey through modernization, the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Soils and Water Management (DA-BSWM) has not put aside any moment towards going digital in order to keep up with the call of these days, while in the pursuit of the achievement of its mandate on the sustainable management of soil and water resources for agriculture. Hence, its theme during the 72nd Founding Anniversary Celebration, “Nurturing Soil and Water Resources through Digital Innovation.”
The 72nd Anniversary Celebration was held today, 05 June 2023, at the BSWM Lopez Convention Hall. This event was attended by distinguished guests, Department of Agriculture Officials, Partners of the DA-BSWM, and farmer-beneficiaries.
The Celebration started with a Thanksgiving Mass, giving back all the glory and honor to the Lord for His guidance to the agency throughout the years.
Officially opening the celebration was through the Welcome Message delivered by DA-BSWM Director Gina P. Nilo. In her message she acknowledged the presence of the distinguished guests and partners who have been with the DA-BSWM for years now. She also congratulated the staff of the agency for being faithful and having performed well.
The Department of Agriculture Senior Undersecretary Domingo F. Panganiban then delivered his Inspirational Messages before the BSWM employees. In his message, Senior Usec. Panganiban acknowledged the BSWM’s role in the agriculture sector throughout its 72 years of existence. “To all of you in the Bureau of Soils and Water Management, thank you very much for fulfilling the mandate of the President,” Senior Usec. Panganiban said as he closed his Message.
Senate Food and Agriculture Committee Chair Senator Cynthia A. Villar also graced the event and delivered her Keynote Message. According to Senator Villar, “the Bureau of Soils and Water Management has been instrumental in ensuring the sustainable use and management of soil resources and enhanced crop productivity and farmers’ income.” She further said that the BSWM’s tireless efforts have contributed to the enhancement of agricultural productivity through its various programs. In addition, she also mentioned that she has been in partnership with the BSWM in distributing composting facilities nationwide. This is in line with the promotion of balanced fertilization.
As part of the highlights of this event, Director Gina P. Nilo spearheaded the Soft Launch of the “Mainstreaming, Institutionalization and Legislation of the BSWM National Soil Health Program and Strategy.” According to Director Nilo, the National Soil Health Program and Strategy is the BSWM’s Roadmap for 2023-2030. She further mentioned the vision to bring the BSWM in the Center of Excellence for Sustainable Soil and Water Resources Management. For the ways forward, Director Nilo said that the DA-BSWM seeks for the legislation of the National Soil Health Strategy.
Agusan del Sur 2nd District Representative, Congressman Adolph Edward G. Plaza, also delivered his Message for the BSWM’s 72nd Founding Anniversary. According to Congressman Plaza, “Throughout the decades, the Bureau has been in the forefront of safeguarding and regulating the use of our two most critical natural resources – the soil and water.” He further said that “after various consultations with various soil health scientists, he has brought to the attention of the 19th Congress that soil health should merit the attention it needs.” He also assured that the critical mass of support from the 19th Congress is gaining unprecedented ground. And that we will have our own National Soil Health Strategy through the collaboration of the government agencies, academe, science community, research institutions, private sectors, and all stakeholders in the agriculture sector.
This Celebration will not be complete without giving honor to those who have stood out in contributing to the agency’s success in the past year – the PRAISE Performance Awardees for 2022, as follow:
EXEMPLARY BEHAVIOR AWARD:
Lyra L. Espectacion, LSD
Non Supervisory, Administrative Support – Armelyn C. Galicia, PMU
Non-Supervisory, Technical Support (Admin) – Jennifer F. Aquino, SCMD
Non-Supervisory, Technical Support (Operations) – Marco T. Macopia, HILLPEZ
Non-Supervisory, Technical – Jonathan J. Daquil, HIGHPEZ
Supervisory, Admin. Support – Nancy C. De Sagun, DO-Personnel Section
Supervisory, Technical – Maureen D. Malabanan, WRMD
OUTSTANDING ADMIN UNIT – Personnel Section
OUTSTANDING RESEARCH CENTER – NSWRRDC HillPEZ
OUTSTANDING DIVISION – Laboratory Services Division
BEST RESEARCH PAPERS – Research Category
HOST TEAM – GSITD
Being the nationally-mandated agency on the sustainable management of soil and water resources for agriculture, the DA-BSWM has also garnered various awards and recognitions from the past years. Thus, this opportunity was taken for the Ceremonial Awarding of some of the Bureau’s awards and recognitions: QMS ISO/IEC 9001:2015 (2018-2024) by the TUV Rheinland; Support to the Cloudseeding Operations by the Philippine Air Force; LSD ISO/IEC 17025:2017 (2016-2026) and SWRRD ISO/IEC 17025:2017 (2023-2028) by the Philippine Accreditation Board; LSD PRC Certificate of Authority to Operate Chemical Laboratories, and SWRD PC Certificate of Authority to Operate Chemical Laboratories by the Professional Regulation Commission; and the Freedom of Information Award – Top Requested and Performing Agencies in the EFOI Portal Agencies with 250 to 499 Requests.
With all these, it is but right to remember all that was in the past year. And as we do, an AVP was presented, “Looking Back: Highlights of the BSWM 71st Anniversary Program.” This was followed by the Acknowledgement of the 72nd Anniversary Working Committees, Ceremonial Turn-over and Passing of Torch to the 73rd Anniversary Host, and the AVP on BSWM 72 Shining Moments and Road Map 2022-2028.
Having reached 72 years of service for the nation has never been easy. We have been toiling for the benefit of the sector that feeds the nation – the farmers and fisherfolk. However tiring, this is nothing but very much fulfilling. And now that we are “Digital Na,” the DA-BSWM is looking forward to a wider reach of service and influence to the agriculture sector, specifically in the field of soil and water management.
Quoting Director Nilo in her Welcome Message, “It is our vision that this Bureau of Soils and Water Management, at the highest level of excellence, should be able to provide quality service to all our stakeholders.”
DA-BSWM, Buhay na Buhay – para sa mga magsasaka at mangingisda ng bansa!
Cheers to the 72 years. Cheers to the next 72 years and more.