WITH an ordinance on Halal and a Halal Industry Development Council, Davao City can be one of the few cities in the country that is fully supporting the Halal industry.
Unfortunately, when we look around, we are not able to find many Halal-certified establishments, food and non-food, in the city. While there are Muslim-friendly establishments in the city, they are not certified yet.
Despite the efforts of the city to support its local Halal industry, many establishments who seek to get certified encounter a number of problems when getting a Halal certification.
One of the problems is that the six private Filipino-owned halal certifiers in the country -- Islamic Dawa Council of the Philippines, Halal Development Institute of the Philippines, Mindanao Halal Authority, Muslim Mindanao Halal Certification Board, Halal International Chamber of Commerce, and Prime -- are acknowledged only in the Philippines and not in other countries.
This means that their products and services may not be patronized by Muslim tourists from other countries.
Another problem is the cost. Getting a certification is not cheap. For those who want to export their products, they may need to get the certification from an internationally-recognized Halal certifying body.
While the public and private sector are making efforts for the Halal industry in terms of policies, it may not be enough.
The local government unit or some of the national agencies, like the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Agriculture or Department of Science and Technology, might have to allocate a certain amount to subsidize the cost of getting a Halal certification or putting up more Halal labs.
Efforts should also be made to make the Halal certifiers in the country be recognized internationally.
Local businesses, many of which are small and medium enterprises, find it hard to get Halal certification and by doing those mentioned above, they might just get certified and tap into this booming industry.