Salt is easy to produce, the country is surrounded by saltwater, so why do we need to import?
Senator Imee Marcos expressed dismay over an alleged salt shortage that has led to higher prices of dried fish like ‘tuyo’ and ‘daing’ and fish paste or ‘bagoong’ that are part of the ordinary Filipino’s diet.
Information gathered by the senator’s office showed that the price of Salinas ‘tuyo’ has increased from Php200 to Php280 per kilo in wet markets in Tondo, Manila and Balintawak, Quezon City.
Marcos said it was ironic that the Philippines has the fifth longest coastline in the world that measures some 36,000 kilometers but imports salt from China and Australia.
She noted that more than 90% of the country’s salt requirements in the past three decades have been imported, with little done to develop the local salt industry.
The former Ilocos Norte governor also said that the Ilocos Region, particularly Pangasinan and La Union, are among the country’s major salt producers but have not been given ample support by past administrations.
Local salt producers are still in need of new technology and proper machinery that the ASIN law or Act for Salt Iodization Nationwide (Republic Act No. 8172) was supposed to have promoted when it took effect in December 1995.
“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,” Marcos explained.
The senator recommended additional funding for the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources under the Department of Agriculture to ramp up knowledge transfer, research, training, and technical assistance in the use of modern salt production technology.
“I will certainly take up measures for ample production of salt, besides rice and sugar, with PBBM,” the President’s elder sister said.(PR)