By Billy Begas
Camarines Sur Rep. LRay Villafuerte on Tuesday said that the House-approved measure will put flesh into President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s vision of revitalizing the salt industry.
“Our goal is for the 19th Congress to help the Marcos administration revitalize the local salt industry by providing it with the right government support services for its protection and direction, specifically those that involve production and development,” said Villafuerte, president of the National Unity Party.
Villafuerte said that “Considering the expansive coastlines of the Philippines, it truly baffles us why our archipelago was reported in 2021 to be producing only 7% of the national salt requirement and importing the other 93% equivalent to around 550,000 metric tons.”
“Hence, we are hoping that new legislation would enable our moribund salt industry to become competitive once more in both the domestic and international markets,” he added.
The House of Representatives unanimously approved the proposed Salt Industry Development bill last Monday.
The measure will create an interagency Philippine Salt Industry Development Council (PSIDC) to craft a five-year master plan to expand areas devoted to salt-making, boost domestic salt output, promote investments in this sector, and market Philippine products made from this essential nutrient, among others.
Villafuerte, along with Camarines Sur Representatives Luis Miguel Villafuerte and Tsuyoshi Anthony Horibata, and Bicol Saro Rep. Brian Raymund Yamsuan, introduced HB 7357, one of the bills consolidated and substituted by HB 8278.
The measure is among the list of 42 priority bills that the Marcos administration endorsed to Congress for approval.