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House panel approves bill exempting locally produced salt from iodization

The House agriculture and food panel on Thursday approved a bill providing exemption of locally produced salt from mandatory iodization to give salt farmers and producers the flexibility to cater to different markets.

The measure, dubbed as Philippine Salt Industry Development bill, also classifies salt as an agricultural product and placing it under the jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture (DA).

Likewise, the bill establishes a Philippine Salt Industry Development Roadmap and the Philippine Salt Industry Development Council (PSIDC).

Kabayan party-list representative Ron Salo, one of the principal authors of the measure, said the bill classifying salt as an agricultural product will provide better support to local salt farmers and producers while providing a shift in policy from being primarily regulatory to being developmental.

“The shift from a regulatory to a developmental mindset is crucial in ensuring that the salt industry will be properly managed and developed, and that the interests of our salt farmers will be protected. This will promote the sustainable development of the salt industry, create employment opportunities, and enhance the overall well-being of our people,” he said.

"The DA-BFAR's assistance in the design, construction, and development of small-scale artisanal salt farms in partnership with the private sector will provide more opportunities for our local farmers and help promote the salt industry. This is  a welcome step towards the revitalization of the salt industry in our country,” he added.

The Philippine Salt Industry Development bill is among the priority measures of the Marcos administration.

“We expect that this bill will soon be enacted into law," Salo said.—AOL, GMA Integrated News