WITH the Halal industry in the global market already nearing to $3 trillion, development of the industry in Philippines can help improve the country’s economy, an official of the International Halal Accreditation Forum (Ihaf).
On Thursday, May 4, the Universal Islamic Center Foundation (UICF) organized the Philippine Halal Trade and Tourism Conference at Seda Abreeza Hotel. Present during event was Ihaf secretary general Mohammed Badri who is based at United Arab Emirates.
Badri said the Halal industry, if further developed in the Philippines, will help a lot in the economy of the country and to the Muslims who are residing here.
He added it is a part of Ihaf’s mandate to help countries whose government is not Muslim.
The secretary general said with this advocacy, they want to make the Philippine Government realize that putting up Halal products and services is not a difficult thing nor is it a religious matter.
“It’s a win-win situation for the government. They can protect their consumers without relying on the outside people like Malaysian and others, at the same time, they can have expert call of the products that they are producing here and boost the economy of the Philippines,” said Badri.
He also acknowledged the need for a proper Halal system if the country decides to participate in this industry considering our geographical advantage.
“Definitely, the Philippines is in a good location because you have access to the neighbors which is Indonesia and Malaysia. If you don’t have a proper system, even though they’re very close to you, they cannot import from you. But if you have a proper system, they don’t need to go to far countries, they are there and they come back to you. I am sure a lot around you, there a lot of Muslim countries and they are seeking for these kinds of Halal products,” he said.
As for the Mindanao Islamic Chamber of Commerce president engineer Samad Pangandaman, they are still hoping for the full support of the government in terms of Halal accreditation in the country.
“We’re looking for a very established Halal accreditation body in the Philippines to support the businessmen and the business sectors,” he said.
Just like Badri, Pangandaman recognizes the good location of the Philippines in Southeast Asia in connection with the Halal market.
“It is a very huge opportunity to export products to the Muslim countries and this is a big business industry. This is a huge opportunity for Muslim Mindanawon businessmen to participate. The nearest countries are the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) countries. They are also Muslim countries and they need capitalists. They are already importing products from Brazil and other countries so why not from the Philippines?” Pangandaman said.