Igniting the wheel of innovation that will revive the salt production in the country and transform it into a 21st century industry, the Pangasinan State University (PSU) organized the very first Philippine Salt Congress held on November 26-27, 2022.
Policy makers, local government officials, members of the academe, salt manufacturers and salt farmers from all over the country gathered at the Sison Auditorium of Lingayen town in the province of Pangasinan to take part in the two-day event that serves as a hall mark of the University’s leadership in the development of salt processing and management through quality research, extension and innovation program.
PSU President Dr. Dexter R. Buted, said it is important to revive the Philippine salt industry which has languished despite having one of the world’s longest shorelines and consequently take advantage of the global demand for sea salt.
“Ultimately, boosting the country’s salt industry would not only benefit salt farmers and their families but also every Filipino consumer and the local economy –while preserving traditional salt-making methods in the process,” Dr. Buted said in his message.
The academic leader lamented that the country imports around 93 percent of its salt which is why PSU, as the only state-run university in the province of Pangasinan heeded to the call of revitalizing the rich tradition and identity of salt mining.
Pangasinan Governor Ramon ‘Mon-Mon’ Guico III said salt is important in life therefore it needs more attention, budgeting, research and participation from all stakeholders.
“I’m requesting all salt associations to unite for a vision where we will no longer need to import salt because there is enough supply, enough workers and enough cooperatives,” the governor said during the national salt congress.
An overview of the salt industry was presented by Dr. Paulo Cenas, PSU Vice-President for Research, Extension, Innovation and Gender and Development (REIGN) while Mr. Gerard Khonghun, president of PhilAsin, discussed the PhilAsin Roadmap.
“Ang pangarap ng mag-aasin ay gumawa ng asin para sa Pilipinas,” said Khonghun stating his dream for the salt industry.
Meanwhile, KABAYAN Partylist Repesentative Ron P. Salo, presented House Bill No. 1976 which stakeholders are pushing for the immediate passage.
Rep. Salo emphasized that this endeavor to revitalize salt is not only today as it has started a long time ago but is not given much attention.
“Our vision, hindi lang tayo maging salt-sufficient but we will also become exporters of salt,” he added.
The congressman thanked his fellow champions in the salt industry revitalization like the Pangasinan State University.