KEY officials said there is still a need to intensify halal promotion campaign, including adding more halal certifiers.
National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) Commissioner Michael Mamukid said during the 8th Philippine Halal Trade and Tourism Expo (PHTTE) at the SMX Convention Center in Davao City on Thursday afternoon, May 25 that the country has a growing demand for halal foods and services.
"The Philippines needs more halal certifiers as even non food products are growing in numbers that require certification," Mamukid said.
He added, "The demand for healthy food and options has made halal products made more desirable even to non-Muslims and to the growing number of Muslims in the growing market that require halal certified products more and more MSMEs [micro, small, and medium enterprises] are seeing the value of making products that are halal."
NCMF is part of the policymaking body for the creation and regulation of halal standards. The agency is also tasked to accredit halal certifiers.
Mindanao Development Authority (Minda) Secretary Maria Belen Sunga Acosta said there is still much to be done to bring Halal products to the mainstream market in the country and dispel any erroneous assumption of the Halal way of production.
“We have to intensify our halal promotion campaign because there are still segments of the population who have limited knowledge of halal. Part of improving the halal system is through education and awareness targeting the wider public,” Acosta said.
Marilou Ampuan, PHTTE president and 2023 Halal Expo organizer, said that the country currently has 11 halal certifiers nationwide, which she deemed "quite enough" for now.
"Especially sa atong industry na nagkadaghan napud ang atoang mga halal players in promoting food, products and tourism services," Ampuan said.
She said there is a need to help MSMEs "harness the halal ecosystem" with the help of concerned government agencies such as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and promoting, developing, and training them, particularly in the focus of exportation of products.
Councilor Alberto Ungab, who represented Davao City Mayor Sebastian Duterte, said there is an increasing demand for halal products and services in the entire country. He said the expo brings the city closer to achieving its goal of becoming the Halal center of the country.
“The significant increase in demand for Halal products and services in the country is a testament to our (local government’s) commitment to promoting high-quality halal products and services that will cater to the needs of local consumers, tourists, and stakeholders,” Ungab said.
Councilor Myrna Dalodo-Ortiz, meanwhile, told SunStar Davao in an ambush interview that the City Council continues to lobby measures helping to strengthen the halal industry.
“This is a positive development among Dabawenyos kasi aside from the IPs and Muslim tribes, makita natin because of the halal, maka-encourage ta og more tourists other countries, Islamic countries na mag-visit sa Davao,” she said adding that “they feel important” whenever the city would cater to the needs of the Muslims for food demand.
PHTTE is a three-day expo spearheaded by the Universal Islamic Center and the Davao City Halal Industry Development Council, in partnership with the City Government of Davao, National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF), DTI, Department of Agriculture, Department of Health, Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Department of Foreign Affairs, Minda, and the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) of the DOT.
The expo aimed at developing and marketing of the Halal ecosystem, facilitating business meetings and plenary sessions, as well as integrating Halal commerce into mainstream markets. RGL