Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva said he is concerned with the recent statement from the Department of Agriculture that the Philippines cannot produce enough salt for its own needs because of government neglect over the past 15 years.
“This is quite shameful for an archipelagic country with more than 36,000 kilometers of shoreline. Let’s not waste further the potential to provide jobs for Filipinos in every island in the country by reviving the salt production industry,” Villanueva said.
“The country currently imports 93% of its salt from Australia and China.”
In addition, the Philippine Chamber of Agriculture and Food Inc. recently said that the country currently imports 93% of its salt from Australia and China.
The veteran legislator noted that this is a stark contrast from 1990 when the country was only importing 15% of its salt requirements.
It’s not too late for the country to become a net exporter of salt.”
“I am quite salty about the state of our salt production industry. It’s not too late for the country to become a net exporter of salt,” the seasoned lawmaker said.
The senator filed Senate Resolution No. 100 to look into how the government can revive the country’s salt production industry to create jobs and spur economic development.
He said that the government needs to immediately address the major hurdles to the development of the country’s salt production industry.
These include the need for proper storage facilities, and lack of equipment such as water pumps and boats for hauling and storing salt.
Villanueva also supports the recent announcement of the Department of Labor and Employment to develop a roadmap for the salt industry, as introducing new strategies and providing training can generate up to 100,000 new jobs according to the agency.
“Reviving the country’s salt production industry can help solve unemployment, improve self-reliance for this basic commodity, and bring in money for the country through exports. It’s a triple win for the country,” he concluded.