Thursday, April 25, 2024

PCCI Welcomes Passage of Law Reviving the PH Salt Industry

PCCI Welcomes Passage of Law Reviving the PH Salt Industry

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The Philippines Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) welcomed the enactment into law of Republic Act No 11985 or the Philippine Salt Industry Development Act in an effort to revive the country’s dying salt industry.

PCCI President Enunina V. Mangio hopes that the new law will address the gaps in the implementation of the ASIN Law or An Act for Salt Iodization Nationwide and create opportunities for people, especially in rural areas.

“We are an archipelagic country with over 7,000 islands yet, we import more than 90 percent of our salt requirement. It’s a sad reality that we need to collectively address through the effective implementation of the law,” Mangio said.

The law is expected to not only attract more farmers and producers to return to salt farming and production but also generate new investments and new technologies to elevate the industry and become competitive. “We should aim for our country to become salt self-sufficient and minimize dependence on imports,” Mangio added.

In 2022, the PCCI jointly with the Exporters Confederation of the Philippines (PHILEXPORT) and Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP), in a letter to Congress, expressed its support for the passage of the Philippine Salt Industry Development Act.

“This made us wonder why after 27 years of implementation, we continue to suffer the consequences of iodine deficiency among certain segments of the population, aside from the serious adverse effects of the ASIN Law on local sea salt production and export,” the statement said.

Furthermore, it said that the salt industry has the potential to generate 100,000 green jobs, especially in the countryside, and save foreign exchange from importing 550,000 metric tons of salt every year which constitutes around 93% of the salt requirement of the country. In terms of export, the Philippines can partake in the share of the world export of salt which exceeded $2.59 billion (in 2021). In Asia alone, the total salt trade is estimated at 20,000,000 MT valued at US$1.2 billion, mainly supplied by Australia and China. The Philippines is closer to its ASEAN neighbors compared to Australia, giving it a logistics advantage.

For his part, Dr. William S. Co, director, PCCI Agriculture and Fishery Committee said that there is no reason the country cannot produce enough supply of sea salt as “we are surrounded by waters.” He said that government should ensure the effective implementation of the law.