Pangasinan State University once again formed part of a diverse group of stakeholders from various agencies in the country in the National Salt Industry Stakeholders Consultation on October 17-19, 2023 held in San Jose, Antique.
The activity was spearheaded by the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF), an attached agency of the Department of Agriculture (DA) in collaboration with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the National Fisheries and Research Development Institute (NFRDI).
PCAF –OIC Executive Director Juliet Opulencia said the consultation with the theme ‘Reviving the Struggling Salt Industry in the Philippines,‘ will provide a forum for participants to discuss challenges and opportunities facing the salt industry such as the need for improved technologies and practices, the impact of of climate change and the development of new markets.
In can be remembered that in May 2023, the House of Representatives passed House Bill No. 8278 of the ‘Philippine Salt Industry Development Act which seeks to revitalize the salt industry in the country. Recently, the Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill No. 2243 a response to the plea for assistance for salt industry stakeholders.
The Bill mandates the formulation of programs, projects and interventions to further develop and modernize the salt industry.
Pangasinan State University, a leading SUC salt industry supporter, was invited to present the study ’Research and Promotion of Salt Farming and Techniques’ on the second day.
Head Researchers Engr. Rex Basuel of Urdaneta City Campus and Dr. Irene De Vera of Binmaley Campus presented the study and went on to discuss PSU initiatives on addressing the current and emerging needs of the industry.
It can be remembered that PSU hosted the 1st National Salt Congress in November 2022 held in Pangasinan province.
Consequently, in January 2023, PSU officials, led by University President Dr. Elbert M. Galas, were then invited by the Senate of the Philippines to attend the joint public hearing of the Committee on Agriculture, Food and Agrarian Reform and the Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship to give support to the passage of the laws.
“Boosting the country’s salt industry would not only benefit salt farmers and their families but also every Filipino consumer. The local economy would address problems on importation. This is why PSU heeded to the call of revitalizing the industry and tradition and also the reason why we are supporting all activities related to the salt industry,” Dr. Galas said.
The three-day PCAF event in Antique also showcased presentations on best practices and experiences and on ways forward or policy recommendations.
(Photo Credits : PSU Binmaley and Urdaneta)