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Marcos Signs Law to Boost Local Salt Industry

President Marcos has recently approved Republic Act No. 11985, also known as the Philippine Salt Industry Development Act. This legislation aims to rejuvenate a sector that has long been neglected by the government and is currently considered “dying.”

In response to growing concerns about the country’s heavy reliance on salt imports, lawmakers in 2022 advocated for the passage of this law. At present, more than 90 percent of the Philippines’ salt needs are met through imports, highlighting the urgent need for revitalizing the domestic salt industry.

“It is truly disgraceful for a nation with over 36,000 kilometers of coastline to be in this situation. We must not squander the opportunity to create employment for Filipinos across our islands by rejuvenating the salt production industry,” emphasized Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva during a privilege speech.

He referenced statistics from the Philippine Chamber of Agriculture and Food Inc., which highlighted that the Philippines now imports 93 percent of its salt from Australia and China, a significant increase from the 15 percent figure recorded in 1990.

With the enactment of RA 11985, there is a concerted effort to establish a comprehensive roadmap for the government. This roadmap will guide the implementation of various programs aimed at the development and management, research, processing, as well as commercial and domestic utilization of salt within the country.

On March 11, the President signed a law that requires government agencies to offer assistance to salt farmers in various areas such as technology and research, financing, production, marketing, and other support services.

According to Presidential Communications Secretary Cheloy Velicaria-Garafil, this new legislation aims to boost the country’s salt production, attain self-sufficiency in salt, and position itself as a leading exporter of salt.

Expansion and Modernization Initiatives in the Philippine Salt Industry

The Philippine Salt Industry Development Roadmap is set to be crafted, encompassing a range of plans and programs aimed at enhancing various aspects of the salt industry. These initiatives will cover development and management strategies, research endeavors, processing advancements, utilization methods, modernization efforts, and commercialization strategies specific to Philippine salt.

Furthermore, this roadmap will prioritize the alignment of new policy directions with RA 8172, also known as “An Act for Salt Iodization Nationwide” or Asin.

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