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Section 1.     This Act shall be known as the "Five-year Soil Survey and Conservation Act." 

Sec. 2.     Statement of Policy. — It is the policy of the State to survey, protect and conserve soil and promote the wise utilization of soil and water at the earliest possible time in order to safeguard the usefulness of those two vital resources and thereby insure stable farm production which is basic to our economy and the general well-being of our people.   

Sec. 3.     Objectives. — The program contemplated in this Act shall accomplish the following objectives in five years:

(a)     Undertake the nationwide soil survey, and by scientific analysis, gather data on the types of soil in all municipalities, including their barrios and sitios, in the various agricultural regions of the country with a view to making such information available with maps in any municipality as a guide for determining suitable crops to be grown, the amount and kind of fertilizer, lime and other soil amendments to apply if needed, and the required soil management practices to be adopted for optimum yield of crops.  

(b)     Further augment and accelerate the soil and water conservation program of the Bureau of Soils along the major activities of erosion control operations and other necessary conservation practices to insure sustained production.

Sec. 4.     Implementing Agencies. — The program shall be planned and executed by the Bureau of Soils. The Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources shall, if necessary, require the assistance of any agency under him to help in implementing are provisions of this Act.

Sec. 5.     Target areas of the project. — The extent of operation under the provisions of this Act shall include agricultural lands actually under cultivation and all other agricultural lands intended to be under cultivation throughout the Philippines.

Sec. 6.     Operations. — The implementation aspects of this program shall fall under three specific activities, to wit:   

(a)     Soil Survey. — This activity shall include studies of the various types of soil in the different target areas throughout the country, through field and laboratory analyses of the soils found in each municipality, including the barrios and sitios therein. Drainage, both external and internal, and other features, such as relief of the land and climate, shall be taken into consideration. After the survey of each province, a soil map shall be prepared, published, and made available for each municipality therein together with a detailed description of the soil types, crops suited to each, the kind and amount of fertilizer and other soil amendments that should be applied for each crop and such other information as will insure optimum production.

(b)     Conservation and erosion control. — From the information obtained in the soil survey, erosion control measures shall be formulated. These measures shall include among others, contour tillage, terracing, strip cropping, cover cropping and construction of farm ponds. Any measure or measures recommended for adoption for any particular farm or region shall be the result of a thorough study of all factors and must include an ocular examination of the area. The result of such study shall be published and made available to farmers in the different municipalities of the province for the information and guidance of farmers and landowners.  

In areas where soil erosion has reached a point that immediate action has become necessary, the Director of Soils shall make available a team or teams composed of personnel from the Bureau of Soils or the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources shall authorize the Director of Soils to secure the assistance of other government agencies which he may deem necessary in carrying out the objectives of this Act.

Soil management practices shall be carefully planned and executed. Emphasis shall be placed on conservation irrigation where it is needed.

(c)     Fertilizer Application. — The Bureau of Soils shall provide technical assistance to farmers in the proper use of fertilizers and to other parties desiring such services, based on chemical analysis of soil.   

Sec. 7.     There shall be created, under the supervision and control of the Director of Soils, teams to implement the soil survey program envisioned in this Act, for Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The composition of each team shall be determined by the Director of Soils, the personnel to be composed of persons who can best accomplish the objective of the soil survey program indicated herein and to include laboratory technicians competent to analyze soil samples.

The Director of Soils may, in his discretion, create a special section in the main office of the Bureau to coordinate the work in the field.

Field teams to promote conservation and soil erosion control shall likewise be created by the Director of Soils whenever a need therefor arises.

Sec. 8.     Fund. — Out any funds in the National Treasury not otherwise appropriated, the sum of one million pesos is hereby appropriated annually for a period of five years, beginning the fiscal year nineteen hundred and sixty-two, to carry out the provisions of this Act.  

Sec. 9.     Budget. — The Director of Soils shall submit a budget each year for the five-year program, which shall be subject to the approval of the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources, for the financing of the five-year program and shall make adjustments on the budget for each year following the first year of its implementation on the basis of problems encountered in its operations subject to the approval of the said Secretary.

Sec. 10.     This Act shall take effect on January 1, 1962.

Approved: June 17, 1961


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