On May 31, 2024, the Department of Agriculture- Bureau of Soils and Water Management, through the Soil Survey Division successfully concludes the field implementation of the National Soil Health Program (NSHP)- Updating of Thematic Maps for Soil Reference Mapping Units (SRMU) and Soil Health Monitoring Sites (SHMS) in Region VI through an exit conference held at the DA-Regional Soils Laboratory VI Office in Parola, Iloilo City.

With the goal of creating a systematic and holistic approach in addressing soil health to ensure sustainable use and management of soil resources and enhanced productivity and income of farmers, the Soils Survey Division (SSD) successfully completed the soil survey activities for 68 observation sites in Region VI in relation to SRMU and SHMS assessment and mapping.

The SSD Team is headed by Ms. Bella H. Noceda, Senior Agriculturist, the field implementation team comprising  Engr. Ragine A. Galzote, Ms. Maria Cristina V. Corporal, Ms. Eloisa P. Santiago, Mr. Norman A. Apura, Ms. Carla Joy C. Gutierrez, and Mr. Lester G. Basco. The SSD Team is also participated by the DA-RSL VI Staff, Ms. Rosario Novo, Senior Agriculturist, Ms. Rhyl Joy Balinas, Agriculturist I, and Mr. Ronilo L. Capitanea, Agriculturist I. Collected were 132 soil health samples, 106 soil health monitoring data, and characterized 23 soil series for the provinces of Antique, Aklan, Capiz, Iloilo, Guimaras, and Negros Occidental. This valuable data will lay the groundwork for the establishment of the SRMU and SHMS for Western Visayas, in turn paving the way for the sustainable management of our soil resources.

On behalf of the BSWM, the SSD expressed gratitude  to the DA-RSL VI headed by Ms. Babylou T. Magdaug, the Integrated Laboratory Division headed by Ms. Lorie D. Deasis, and to the Offices of the Provincial Agriculturists and the Municipal/City Agriculturists in Region VI for the invaluable support they provided that led to the successful implementation of the field activities of the project.

This partnership highlights our joint dedication to enhancing soil health monitoring endeavors, promoting sustainable agricultural practices in the country. The DA-BSWM is under the leadership of Director Gina P. Nilo, PhD and Assistant Director Denise A. Solano, and the Chief of SSD Dr. Dante E. Margate.

Eloisa P. Santiago,
Soils Survey Division