WHAT Davao City's halal industry is currently in need of are halal certifiers whose assessment would be based on a centralized national halal standard, said Tourism Congress Philippines (TCP) Halal Committee official.
"In Davao city, we do not have a local certifier. Before, we have these certifiers appointed by the city government through an ordinance. They appoint these religious groups as local certifiers in Davao. But it was amended because they are not accredited by the National Commission on Muslim Filipino," said TCP Halal Committee chairperson Marilou Ampuan.
Currently, the mandate of halal had been transferred to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
Ampuan said her group and the DTI are scheduled to meet on the last week of September wherein hopefully the latter can already present the national halal standard that would be followed and observed nationwide.
While awaiting the final halal standard, Ampuan said the current five certifiers' business permits had been extended for two years. These halal certifiers include the Islamic Dawah Council of the Philippines, Halal Development Institute of the Philippines, Mindanao Halal Authority, Muslim Mindanao Halal Certification Board, and the Halal International Chamber of Commerce. However, these halal certifiers are not yet accredited under DTI.
Ampuan cited Singapore and Thailand, which are both non-Muslim countries, as an example and yet are very conscious of their halal certification standard. As for Thailand, Ampuan said they only have one halal certifier and she wishes the same would also happen for the Philippines as well.
She added that they are hoping for an update to be given by DTI for the status of the national halal industry as well as that of the Department of Science and Technology-Davao Region for the halal laboratory that had previously been reported to be targeted to already be operational within the year.
Ampuan said one of the biggest success that their committee has achieved regarding their halal advocacy is the creation of the Halal Industry Development Council under Executive Order number 12, series of 2017 wherein city mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio herself is the chairperson.
This is connection with the committee's campaign of making Davao City as the halal model city with hotels such as Marco Polo to be a certified halal because of its restaurant and services.