DA blames lack of innovation, limited development on dwindling salt

By Eileen Mencias

The Department of Agriculture, which imports 93 percent of its salt, blamed the decline in salt production to limited development and lack of innovation and interventions.

This was unfortunate, the DA said, as the Philippines has 36,000 kilometers of shoreline.

Apart from this, the DA cited the industry’s failure to adapt to the challenges caused by global climate change and tariff reduction.

According to the DA, the industry also failed to improve the quality of salt to meet food safety standards.

Republic Act 8172, or an Act for Salt Iodization Nationwide (ASIN), was also a problem as it required the addition of iodine to all meant for animal and human consumption.

The ASIN law also requires the Department of Environment and Natural Resources together with other government agencies to identify areas suitable for salt farms to protect them from environmental risks.

The DA has requested Congress for a special budget of P100 million under the Congressional-Introduced initiative projects to develop the salt industry.

The project aims to increase salt production and improve the quality of salt in Ilocos, Western Visayas, and Zamboanga.

The DA said it would also look at expanding the production areas and develop technologies on evaporation systems and other machineries to hasten the process.