PH’s salt industry

August 26, 2022 People's Tonight 226 views

IT’S certainly saddening, frustrating and surprising that even the price of salt, iodized and rock salt, has gone up in some parts of the country, drawing protests from consumers.

However, a top official of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) was quick to explain that the increase in salt prices was not due to the shortage of the vital commodity.

In fact, there is enough supply of locally-produced rock salt in the Philippines, which is surrounded by sea, according to Trade and Industry Undersecretary Ruth Castelo.

Various quarters, including DTI Undersecretary Castelo, pointed out that the country’s local salt producers have not adjusted their prices for the last six years.

That’s the reason why government authorities allowed the beleaguered iodized and rock salt producers to increase their prices from P0.75 to as high as P3.00.

But some quarters described the price adjustment as “ill-timed” since it coincided with the highly-controversial increase in the price of sugar in the local market.

“Ang sama talaga ng timing ng pagtaas ng presyo ng asin kasi nataon pa naman sa pagsipa ng presyo ng asukal at pati kamote sa bansa,” a housewife said.

The sugar price hikes even angered the national government, prompting President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. to order the inspection of warehouses in the country.

With President Marcos’ order, concerned government offices and agencies have been inspecting warehouses suspected of storing smuggled or hoarded sugar.

But with Undersecretary Castelo’s clarification, the Filipino people now understand why our local salt producers sought government approval to raise their prices.