KABAYAN Party-list Rep. Ron Salo is no longer alone in his quest to save the Philippine salt industry and its stakeholders.

KABAYAN Party-list Rep. Ron Salo (left) and Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva (Salo’s office, Facebook)

This, after Salo tagged Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva as a “co-champion” in the endeavor.

“Senator Villanueva recognizes the need to revive our salt industry, and we salute him as our co-champion in this cause,” said Salo, author of House Bill (HB) No. 1976.

On Saturday, Villanueva commented that it was “shameful” for the Philippines to be importing 93 percent of its salt requirements annually despite being an archipelagic country–that is, a country surrounded by water.

Salo had very similar sentiments in HB No. 1976, which seeks to revitalize the local salt industry and to prevent the country’s full dependence on imported salt by way of a comprehensive development plan that includes the grant of incentives to salt farmers and exporters.

“It is indeed shameful for our country to be import-dependent on salt, an industry which should be thriving in an archipelagic country with more than 36,000 kilometers of shorelines,” Salo affirmed.

“It is such a waste of the country’s natural resources and comparative advantage,” he said.

The solon further stressed that the 93 percent imported salt represents millions, if not billions, of lost potential revenues and employment opportunities for our salt farmers and producers. Salt is a basic food commodity and a key raw material for agro-industries and chemical industries.

“We have been in dialogue with different industry stakeholders since the 17th Congress when we first filed a bill in support of the salt industry. Since then, we have seen a groundswell of support from both the private and government sectors, particularly the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI),” he said.

“And now that Senator Villanueva is with us, we hope to gather more support in Congress to finally pass a law for our salt farmers and producers,” Salo noted.

“Indeed, we can still become a net exporter of salt only if the government undertakes immediate steps to address the sad state of our salt industry and take the lead in revitalizing it,” he stressed.

The congressman is optimistic that the proposed law will not only revitalize the local salt industry, but will also increase the income for salt farmers and salt producers, allowing the country to achieve salt self-sufficiency and become a net exporter of salt.

“Thus, we await Senator Villanueva’s counterpart Senate measure, and I look forward to working with him as co-champions in the advocacy for the revival of the Philippine salt industry,” Salo concluded.

Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2022/08/30/salo-hails-this-senate-leader-as-co-champion-in-quest-to-save-salt-industry/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=salo-hails-this-senate-leader-as-co-champion-in-quest-to-save-salt-industry)