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Marcos admin bares plan to improve salt industry

The Marcos administration on Monday bared its plan to enhance the salt production in the country.

In a statement, the Office of the Press Secretary (OPS) said the Department of Agriculture, which is being headed by President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., will lead the efforts together with other government agencies.

The plan includes the following: 

  • 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; and
  • 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)

The DTI has increased the prices 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.

When it comes to iodized salt, the suggested retail price for a 100-gram pack is set at P4.50, while the price for a 250-gram pack ranges from P9.00 to P11.75 and P16.00 to P21.25 for a 500-gram pack. One kilogram of salt is priced at P29.00.

Don't take salt for granted

Senator Imee Marcos said she will discuss with President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. measures to increase the salt production in the country.

The senator recommended additional funding for the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources to ramp up the knowledge transfer, research, training, and technical assistance in modern salt production technology.

"I will certainly take up measures for ample production of salt, besides rice and sugar, with PBBM,” Marcos said in a statement.

According to Marcos, local salt producers need new technology and proper machinery that Republic Act 8172 or An Act for Salt Iodization Nationwide was supposed to have promoted.

Meanwhile, Marcos said that the Ilocos Region, particularly Pangasinan and La Union, are among the country’s major salt producers but were not given ample support by previous administrations.

“We’ve taken salt for granted despite its many uses not only in cooking but also in health and agriculture. Salt is used in manufacturing medicines, food preservatives, animal feed, and fertilizer,” she said.

The senator said that the supposed salt shortage has led to higher prices of dried fish such as tuyo and daing and fish paste or bagoong. She said information gathering showed that tuyo prices increased from P200 to P280 in wet markets in Tondo, Manila, and Balintawak.

The Department of Trade and Industry has stressed that there is no shortage of salt in the country and that the increase in prices of salt came six years after the last hike.—Anna Felicia Bajo/Joahna Lei Casilao/KBK, GMA News