Expand PH's Halal industry

STAKEHOLDERS working for the promotion and development of halal industry are pushing for every Halal certifier in the country to be accredited abroad, an official said.

Romeo Montenegro, Mindanao Development Authority (Minda’s) director for Investment Promotions, Foreign Relations and Public Affairs said in an interview with Sun.Star Davao that accrediting the country's Halal certifiers with the international market will expand the industry's reach.

"In a recent forum on halal development and promotion in Cotabato City last past two weeks, one of the major push is enabling Halal certifiers to be accredited from abroad because we only have a few who are accredited from outside," he said.

In a bid to further push the promotion and development of the country's Halal, Montenegro said the industry must look beyond the horizon.
"The more certifiers being accredited abroad is better for us, because if one is accredited abroad it can penetrate the market where bigger demand for Halal is," Montenegro added.

He cited Islamic Da'Wah Council of the Philippines (IDCP) as a perfect example. IDCP is accredited and recognized in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and all other Arab countries.

"Since IDCP is accredited in various countries, all its products with its seal can penetrate these foreign markets where Malaysia and among others are also accredited, which can translate to a wider reach," Montenegro said.

Also, apart from accreditation from international market, Montenegro said that coordination of the various agencies that are working for Halal development must continue to improve with more effective mechanism and policy for Halal promotion and development.

"We are making sure that effective coordination among various agencies of the government to move forward in effective mechanism and policies," he said.

In Halal industry, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) focuses in research and development and coordination with the academes, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for marketing and export orientation, Department of Agriculture for production while National Council on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) for capacitating the accreditation of certifying bodies.

Mindanao looks at halal as a viable industry for export oriented agri products and more including services.

“Export destination is market driven, so if you are a company exporting a particular product, naturally you would go to companies that has presence to bigger market where they can penetrate,” he added.

Meanwhile, in a recent report, YasminBusran-Lao, secretary of the National Council on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF), said "extra efforts" should be done in order for industry players in the country to be competitive.

"We need to double-up because other countries already have an established Halal industry compared in our country, we still need to promote Halal to our entrepreneurs and consumers," Lao said.

Asean countries with established Halal industry are Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, among others.
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