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Government and private sector to work together for salt industry development

Author: DA-AFID | 14 July 2023

As part of the government efforts to resolve supply crisis and revive the Philippine salt industry, Department of Agriculture (DA) Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban convened with a consortium of private-sector representatives on July 13, 2023, at the DA Central Office in Quezon City.

During the meeting a proposal was presented, which focused on the establishment of a national network of advanced salt production plants through investment and policy interventions. The presentation cited the weakening condition of the Philippine salt industry due to various factors such as climate change, land conversion, and economic globalization.

It was presented to Sr. Usec. Panganiban, DA Undersecretary for Fisheries Drusila Bayate, and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources National Director Atty. Demosthenes Escoto who gave an update on the status of various legislative measures that seek to revitalize the country’s salt industry.

“The existing law that we have on salt is still the old salt law, the old iodization act. There is a written initiative in the Congress and Senate, so the House of Representatives will pass the bill. For Senate, it will be open for deliberation on the plenary. The good thing is that these particular bills have been included as one of the priority bills of the president. We are hoping that by this year, a new salt law will be implemented and will be effective,” Escoto said.

In line with the facilitation of production, such as identifying suitable locations for salt farms and making infrastructure investments, Undersecretary Bayate suggested that the parties should have access to the integrated plan of the national government in order to effectively align with the operational requirements.

“The government has an integrated plan that will match the logistic need, plan of DPWH, the farm-to-market road, and tourism road. If there is any development plan from a local government na hihingi siya ng appropriation, it should be within that big plan. I think we should have access to that integrated plan because it includes logistics that can help in the planning of this proposal,” she explained.

Acknowledging the importance of a private-public partnership in enhancing local salt self-sufficiency, Panganiban advised BFAR and the private sector representatives to collaborate and work together to accelerate the modernization and industrialization of the Philippine salt industry.

DA has been working diligently to enhance the state of the Philippine salt industry, recognizing its potential in the country’s post-pandemic recovery. As of date, it has implemented several initiatives aimed at improving salt production and providing technical assistance to marginal and artisanal salt makers, with the support of its attached agencies. ### (Ira Y. Cruz, DA-AFID)

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