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DA-BFAR to allocate P100 million to boost salt production

The Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) is setting aside P100 million worth of funds to boost salt production in the country.

“Para sa taong 2022 isinusulong ng Department of Agriculture sa pamamagitan ng Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources ang paglalaan ng pondo sa halagang P100 million,” BFAR Chief Information Officer Nazzer Briguera said during state-run PTV’s public briefing on Tuesday.

(For the year 2022, the DA through the BFAR will be allocating P100 million worth of funds.)

“Ilalaan po ito para mas mapalawak ‘yung industriya ng asin sa ating bansa at masiguro ang tuloy tuloy at sapat na supply po nito,” Briguera said.

(This will be allotted for the expansion of the country’s salt industry and to ensure the continuous and sufficient supply of salt.)

He said the amount will also be allocated to strengthen the capacity of salt makers in the country.

“Within 2022 maisakatuparan ang mga mekanismo sa ilalim ng pondong ito upang matulungan ang salt industry,” Briguera said.

(Within 2022 this funding will create the mechanisms needed to help the salt industry.)

The BFAR official made the pronouncement after the Palace, on Monday, bared a Marcos administration plan to enhance salt production in the country. p

The plan includes:

  • DA to implement programs and initiatives for boosting salt production and supply
  • Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to lead various research and development initiatives on salt production and assist marginal and artisanal salt makers
  • Realization of the Development of the Salt Industry Project (DSIP) for salt makers in Regions 1, 6 and 9
  • DA to expand salt production areas and push for the development of technologies to accelerate salt production
  • DA to work with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to fully develop the local salt industry under Republic Act 8172, or the Act for Salt Iodization Nationwide (ASIN)

Briguera said among the programs of the BFAR is the distribution of modern equipment, as well as knowledge-enhancing programs to ensure food safety among salt makers.

The Department of Trade and Industry increased the price of salt after years of it remaining unchanged. It approved an increase in prices of iodized rock salt to P21.75 for 500 grams and P23.00 for one kilogram.

The suggested retail price for a 100-gram pack of iodized salt is set at P4.50. The price for a 250-gram pack ranges from P9.00 to P11.75. It is P16.00 to P21.25 for a 500-gram pack. One kilogram of salt is priced at P29.00.

In a separate news release, the DA said that the country has been importing 93% of its salt supply, “an unfortunate circumstance to a country with 36,000 kilometers of shoreline.”

The DA said that last year the BFAR had also set in motion a P100-million Development of the Salt Industry Project (DSIP) under the Special Budget Request (SBR) of the Congressional-Introduced Initiative Project.

Covering Regions 1, 6, and 9, the project aims to increase salt production and produce excellent quality salt through enhancement and improvement of the different methods and practices on salt production and product compliance to food safety standards. — DVM, GMA News