Los Baños, Laguna—A National Training on Soil Sampling and Data Analysis was held at the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau Auditorium last May 28-June 22, 2018. The month-long training was divided into four legs by cluster: Southern Luzon (May 28-June 1), Northern Luzon (June 5-8), Visayas (June 12-15), and Mindanao (June 19-22). A total of 255 participants attended the training from DENR Regional Offices, PENROs, CENROs, Forest Management Bureau, Biodiversity Management Bureau, ERDB Research Centers, ERDB Officials and staff, as well as DENR Assistant Secretary for Staff Bureaus Ricardo L. Calderon.

The objective of the training was to equip the participants with relevant knowledge and skills on the conduct of soil sampling from soil sample collection to soil data analysis, as part of Survey Mapping Planning (SMP) activities for the National Greening Program. This was also the Department’s first step towards producing a soil map for forest lands in the Philippines. In his welcome remarks during the first two legs of the training, ASec. Calderon constantly reminded the participants to be participative as the training was funded through taxpayer’s money. “We have planting sites with adverse conditions and far locations that is why we really need to study what species are suitable to be planted…” he added.

The training consisted of lectures, field and hands-on demonstrations, and presentation of action plans at the end of the program. Resource speakers include: For. Digno C. Garcia (Senior Science Research Specialist), Ms. Carmelita S. Mojica (Senior Science Research Specialist), and For. Nolie A. Molina (Science Research Specialist) of the Laboratory and Experimental Services Division-ERDB; and For. Froilan Jay T. Menguito (Science Research Specialist) and For. Malou Avanzado (Science Research Specialist) of the Forest Ecosystems Research Division-ERDB. Topics covered were: Tools, Supplies, Materials, Manpower, and Procedures needed in Soil Sample Collection; Preparation of Soil Sample for Laboratory Analysis and Soil Parameters for Analysis; and introduction and usage of soil test kit. For the field demonstration, the participants visited the Los Baños Experimental Station where they tried the actual soil sample collection. They also presented their action plans by region before the closing ceremonies. These action plans will serve as basis in the preparation of their Work and Financial Plans for their respective offices.

Aside from providing the laboratory and analysis results of the soil samples to be collected by and for each PENRO and CENRO nationwide, the ERDB will continuously provide technical assistance for each field office. NGP-PQPM OpCen