Presidential Decree No. 1435 which authorizes the Bureau of Soils and Water Management to supervise, regulate and control the establishment and operations of all soil laboratories in the Philippines launched the Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 33, series of 2020 on the Guidelines for the Implementation of PD 1435 on the Issuance of License to Operate-Soil Laboratory (LTO-SL). The Launching of the Guidelines on the Issuance of LTO-SL was held at the BSWM Convention Hall and is likewise live via Zoom on November 9, 2020.

The official Opening Program is graced by Dir. Sonia M. Salguero, OIC Director of the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (DA-BSWM) and Country Focal Point of Food and Agriculture Organization-Global Soil Partnership (FAO-GSP); Usec. Zamzamin L. Ampatuan DA Undersecretary for Regulations and Usec Ariel T. Cayanan DA Undersecretary for Operations and Agri-Fisheries Mechanization who delivered the Keynote Message for and on behalf of DA Secretary William D. Dar.

This is also attended by the international participants from Global Soil Laboratory Network (GLOSOLAN) and the Asian Soil Laboratory Network (SEALNET) notably Dr. Lucrezia Caon, Coordinator of GLOSOLAN Food Agricultural Organization Global Soil Partnership (FAO-GSP); Nopmanee Suvanang, Chairperson of GLOSOLAN and Mr. Rob De Hayr, Vice Chair of GLOSOLAN. Overall, a total of 101 participants attended the event, which includes the BSWM Management Committee, Members of the Asian Soil Laboratory Network (SEALNET), representatives from the DA National and Provincial Laboratories, DA Regional Soils Laboratories, State Universities and Colleges, Private Laboratories and International Laboratories. Dr. Rogelio N. Concepcion, former Director of the BSWM and Technical Advisor on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management, Soil Health Management of the DA was also present.

After the official launching of the Guidelines in the morning, the event proceeded with the Orientation on the Memo Circular No. 33 by Dr. Gina P. Nilo, Chief, Laboratory Services Division and National Focal for the Implementation of PD 1435 and for Soil Laboratories of the Department of Agriculture. Dr. Nilo presented the brief background on PD 1435, as well as, the formulation of the Guidelines. Further, she highlighted that this Guidelines is for both the private and government soil laboratories in the Philippines. She likewise discussed the following sections of the Guidelines: 1) Rationale; 2) Purpose of the Issuance of LTO-SL; 3) Additional Powers of BSWM per Department Circular No. 3, s. 2019 on the Updated IRR of PD 1435; 4) Scope of LTO-SL; 5) Granting of License and Validity; 6) Requirement for New Application; 7) Procedure in the Issuance of LTO-SL; 8) Responsibilities of Soil Laboratories; 9) Establishment of Soil Test Data Bank; 10) Renewal of LTO-SL; 11) Summary of Fees; 11) Confidentiality Clause; 12) Revocation Clause; 13) Separability Clause; and 14) Effectivity. 

This Guidelines was published in two newspapers of general circulation – Philippine Daily Inquirer and Philippine Star on November 8, 2020, and filed to the UP Law Office of the National Administrative Register as well.

The Guidelines on the Issuance of LTO-SL will be effective on November 23, 2020 – 15 days after these publications.