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Salt law seen reducing PHL’s 90% dependence on imports

THE Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) said that it expects the newly signed Republic Act (RA) No. 11985, or the Philippine Salt Industry Development Act, to revive salt making and reduce the Philippines’ current 90% dependency on imports.

“The law is expected to not only attract more farmers and producers to return to salt farming and production but also generate new investment and new technology to elevate the industry and become competitive,” the PCCI said in a statement on Tuesday.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. signed RA No. 11985 on March 11, with the law calling for a comprehensive roadmap to develop Philippine salt making.

PCCI President Enunina V. Mangio said the chamber hopes that the effort to revive the industry will address the 90% import dependency rate.

“We should aim for our country to become salt self-sufficient and minimize dependence on imports,” she added.

According to the PCCI, developing the salt industry could create 100,000 green jobs and reduce foreign exchange outflows from the import of 550,000 metric tons of salt every year.

It added that the Philippines can compete in the $2.59-billion global market for salt, which in Asia is valued at $1.2 billion. These markets are mainly serviced by Australia and China.

“The Philippines is closer to its ASEAN neighbors compared to Australia, giving it a logistics advantage,” the PCCI said.

William S. Co, director of the PCCI Agriculture and Fishery Committee, said: “there is no reason the country cannot produce enough supply of sea salt as we are surrounded by waters.” — Justine Irish D. Tabile