Saltmakers in the town of Dumaran received a boost recently from the municipal government to increase their production.

Mayor Richard Herrera told Palawan News that the local government supplied 40 bags of cement to around 30 salt producers in Brgy. Bohol last February to assist them in the creation of salt beds.

“[Noong] nakaraan nagbigay tayo ng mga sako ng semento sa kanila, pampagawa ng salt beds nila ‘yon. Ilan lamang yan sa patuloy na suporta natin sa kanila para sa kanilang kabuhayan. Ang alam ko nasa more or less 30 salt producers meron tayo diyan sa Bohol,” Mayor Herrera said.

According to him, the salt generation in Brgy. Bohol is among the biggest in the province.

“Ang Bohol salt production natin ay isa sa mga ipinagmamalaki natin sa lalawigan—nakakapagsuplay sila ng maraming asin sa ating merkado dito sa Dumaran at sa iba pang bayan. Kaya kami sa LGU (local government unit), kung anuman ang magagawa namin ay magbibigay kami ng suporta sa kanilang asosasyon,” he claimed.

“Actually, maganda ang production nila sa ngayon at tuloy-tuloy naman ang pag-establish ng kanilang mga bagong salt beds,” he added.

DOST iodization seminar
The salt producers of Brgy. Bohol attended a Salt Iodization Seminar from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) on March 15 to assure the quality of their output.

Herrera emphasized the necessity of product development in allowing locally produced salt to enter the market.

“Last two weeks ago, nag try sila mag-process ng asin galing sa Bohol, yong apat na sako ng asin ay parang nasa 15 minutes lang para gawing iodized salt,” Herrera said.

“Malaking tulong ito para sa bayan ng Dumaran [yong], mga ganitong programa na makakatulong doon sa pangkabuhayan ng mga tao sa pagpo-produce ng asin,” he said.

Haidie Mendoza, the municipal agriculturist, also underlined the benefits of Dumaran-produced salt.

“Kakaiba yong asin ng Brgy. Bohol, kasi ang dagat sa Dumaran ay malinis. Yong source ng tubig ng salt producers ay malinis, hindi polluted, ibig sabihin malinis ang asin na produced nila,” she said.

Stores in Dumaran, Cuyo, Roxas, and Puerto Princesa are now supplied with the native salt, which is currently offered for P30 per kg.

Mendoza pointed out the importance of iodization in order to provide them access to a wider range of product portfolios and new markets.

Presently, the DOST, via its partner Farm Konek, will assist the community in marketing its products.

“May possibility, [yong] intervention ni DOST, mayroon siyang kausap na [parang] company, yong Farm Konek, ito ang kausap ni DOST na yon ang tutulong kay Bohol salt producers na mag market ng iodized salt, willing naman sila makipag-cooperate kay DOST at kay Farm connect, okay naman ata ang bilihan,” she said.

“Kaya niya binigay sa amin yong project na yan, para magkaroon ng iodized salt sa Palawan, kaya wala naman pong masama doon sa project ng DOST para magkaroon tayo ng variety product ng asin, iodized at uniodized,” she further explained.

Another salt potential
Apart from Brgy. Bohol, the municipal government sees the possibility for salt production in adjacent Brgy. Sta Teresita.

The community is beginning to follow suit, discovering the benefits of salt production in Brgy. Bohol, according to Herrera.

The mayor vowed to support the community endeavor.

“May mga gumagawa rin na doon sa Sta Teresita, kung sakaling mag-tuloy ito, pangalawa ito sa Bohol, hindi naman po mawawala ang suporta ng LGU sakali sa kanila kung gusto naman nilang palaguin yong pagaasin nila,” Herrera said

Bohol salt production
Based on the data of the Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO), there is a hectare of land currently utilized for salt production.

This is expected to expand as the salt production season approaches.

“Alam niyo po, may mga nasa 20 hectares pa yong hindi nag-aasinan sa ngayon, kasi yong iba, wala na ring pang capital talaga, yong iba sira na rin yong mga salt beds nila,” Mendoza said.

The local government admits the absence of a salt production plan in Dumaran.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) is trying to rehabilitate the salt industry in the country.

From their budget, the department appropriated P200 Million to fund 23 salt producing areas in the Philippines including Bulacan, Pangasinan, Occidental Mindoro, Las Piñas, and Cavite.