Saturday, May 28, 2011

Report on the 14th PSSST Scientific Conference held at VSU, Baybay, Leyte

The 14th Annual Meeting and Scientific Conference of the Philippine Society of Soil Science and Technology (PSSST) was held at the Visayas State University (VSU) in Baybay City, Leyte last 25-27 May 2011. About 140 soil scientists, soil practitioners, and agriculturists working in universities, government agencies, non-government organizations, and private companies throughout the country attended the conference.

The opening program was graced by Dr. Florentino Tesoro who represented Congressman Angelo B. Palmones (AGHAM Partylist), Dr. Jose L. Bacusmo (VSU President), Prof. K. Stahr (Germany), Mr. Deogracias Pernites (representing Mayor Carmen Cari of Baybay City), Dr. Cezar Mamaril (PSSST Adviser), Dr. Eduardo Paningbatan (PSSST Adviser), Ms. Constancia Mangao (PSSST President) and Dr. Victor B. Asio (Dean of the College of Agriculture, VSU).

Prof. Dr. Karl Stahr, the Chairman of Division I of the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS), gave the keynote lecture about the limestone soils in Southeast Asia particularly Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos. Dr. Gamini Keerthisinghe of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) gave a plenary paper on challenges to sustainable crop production.

A total of 26 oral papers were presented dealing with various soil topics ranging from fertilization to soil characterization and geospatial modeling. In addition, 25 poster papers were presented. The presenters of the best oral and poster papers were awarded with certificates and cash.

In the afternoon of the last day of the conference, a post-conference tour was organized and sponsored by the Department of Agronomy and Soil Science of VSU to Lake Danao located at 630 m ASL in the central highlands of Leyte. On the way to the lake, the participants were able to see the following: 1) the City of Ormoc; 2) the mouth and headwater of Anilao River which caused the tragic flooding of Ormoc City in 1991 killing 8,000 people; 3) the volcanic landscape which was traditionally used for large-scale sugarcane production; 4) the 1,912 ha Lake Danao along the Philippine Fault Line; 5) an Andisol soil profile (Typic Hapludand); and 6) the Tongonan Geothermal Plant, one of the largest in Asia.

Overall, the conference was a great success. The attendance of Prof. Stahr from the University of Hohenheim in Germany and Dr. Keerthisinghe from ACIAR in Australia gave the conference an international standing especially since Prof. Stahr represented the IUSS of which PSSST is a member.

The Department of Agronomy and Soil Science of VSU which co-hosted the conference, is grateful to the VSU president for the encouragement and support, and the officers and advisers particularly Dr. Cezar Mamaril of PSSST for bringing the conference to VSU.

A report on this conference has been published in the IUSS Bulletin Vol. 119 (Dec 2011 issue)

(All photos were taken by Glenn Largo)

19 comments:

soil said...

Salamat po Dr. Asio for posting this conference report very fast, and for all your efforts as local organizer. Para sa akin, may mga papers na interesting at mataas ang quality lalo na yung mga doctoral thesis, pero karamihan hindi maganda ang quality even some of the papers na nanalo, low pa rin ang quality. Pero nag enjoy talaga kami sa tour lalo na sa lake danao kahit medyo umuulan, enjoy pa rin. maganda rin talaga ang campus nyo! d best.

Victor B. Asio said...

I am happy to learn that you enjoyed the conference particularly the tour. Many at VSU will be happy if they read your positive comment about our campus. About the quality of the papers presented, I agree that some were good.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I'm a participant from Mindanao. Maayo kaayo ang conference venue, accommodation, and general atmosphere sa conference maayo pud. However, the food specially ang snacks, dili ko usahay ganahan. Mura ug gi-tipid sa catering services. In general, the conference was a big big success!Congratulations to PSSST and VSU.

Anonymous said...

It was my first time to attend a pssst conference. I liked it because I met new friends and I saw for the first time your "very scenic university" or VSU. But what I did not like was for the officers to give awards for themselves. it was not a good example to the young participants. it was not very professional since it was very self-serving. I hope you will publish my comments. This should be taken as constructive comment for the good of the organization. I will send to you by email my true identity. Thanks.

Victor B. Asio said...

Thanks for your important comment. I hope the PSSST officers would see it.

Integrated nutrient manager said...

Congrats to PSSST and the local organizers. It was worth the long and tiresome travel from N Luzon. I learned some new things.

Dr Soil said...

Hello sir: For me, one priority of the society should be the promotion of soil science in the philippines to solve the declining number of students who major in soil science. One way to achieve this is to hold the annual conference in a college or university. I was concerned from one suggestion by a pssst officer during the business meeting that the next conference should be in a resort "yung white beach naman".

Victor B. Asio said...

I agree with "Dr Soil" that if possible, the PSSST conference and meeting be held in a university to create awareness among the students. But we must also remember that some universities lack the necessary facilities especially guest houses to be able to host big conferences. So I trust that the officers will take into consideration the important point you raised when they decide on the next venue. Thanks for your comment.

maximax said...

I agree with "Dr Soil" and his thoughts.....

Anonymous said...

ang ganda ng pictures sa pssst... san po ba makakuha ng pictures doc?

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading the thread of information re: PSST feedback. All what is said are correct and the PSSST officers should consider and be sensitive enough with all the concerns raised. It seems to me that they are just promoting the PSSST for their own good but not to the society as a whole. They should think of promoting soil science locally and abroad rather than thinking of white beaches, giving of awards among themselves, etc. etc. etc... They should serve as models to the young generation of soil scientists. I did not see it in the conference. If there will be no changes in the organization or system, I believed that this association will never last...

Victor B. Asio said...

Thanks a lot for your very good comments.

Inosa said...

Very interesting discussions... Cheers

surfnapla said...

Very good conference. congrats to all who came.

romy said...

Thanks to the soils group of vsu with special mention of the head, vic asio,for a job well done. I am happy to learn that you have the strongest soil science faculty in the country today. see you next year.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Asio sir, where can I get copies of the papers that were presented during the conference? Thank you.

The Scientist said...

Sa tingin ko, ang PSSST ay parang "club" of a small group of people na karaminhan ay walang special achievements sa science, that is why PSSST will never get the recognition from other scientific societies in the Philippines, lalo na sa abroad. Madali lang eh, tingnan nyo po lang sa google scholar ang achievements ng mga officers

Anonymous said...

Kudos to PSSST for organizing the annual scientific conferences!Mabuhay!