AS THERE had been a lot of establishments using Halal logos to entice the Muslim market in patronizing their products and services, Muslim Mindanao Halal Certification Board, Inc. (MMHCBI) official warned Muslim consumers to be extra cautious of those using fake Halal logos.
Last Wednesday, December 27, the Department of Tourism (DOT) Davao Region held the Initial Convergence about Muslim Friendly Tourism in Davao at Marco Polo Hotel.
During the opening, Tourism Davao Regional Roberto Alabado III mentioned the potential market for tourism and the business side that the Halal Industry actually has.
Senate committee chair on agriculture and food Senator Cynthia Villar herself acknowledged that Halal export industry in the Philippines, particularly in Mindanao, is an untapped market but has a huge potential and that it should be developed.
During her visit in Davao City for the Davao Agri Trade and Expo held last September, Villar talked of the $1.6 trillion worth of existing Halal market in the United States alone.
“Halal trade industry in the Philippines is relatively new but poses huge potential. Developing and promoting the industry will significantly help the Filipino farmers and food producers. It will also boost local employment opportunities. By adapting measures to make Halal export more competitive, we can make the Philippines an active player in the region and in the global market,” she said.
As both Muslim and non-Muslim businessmen realize this huge market potential, MMHCBI executive director Mariam Pasigan Daud said there are a lot of establishments, food, and service companies that use Halal logos even if they are not yet certified to be Halal.
She said others just print out Halal logos without properly seeking certification from the board, thus having not undergone the right measures to be called Halal certified. Daud cited a few legit Halal logos such as that of the MMCHBI itself and the Islamic Da’wah Council of the Philippines (IDCP). Countries like Malaysia and Thailand also have their own centralized and legit Halal logos.
“Others use Halal logo with the name of Office of Muslim Affairs. I included this as an example (of fake Halal logo) because there is no longer an Office of Muslim Affairs and because in the first place they are not authorized to certify products or services as Halal or not,” Daud said.
He added that some of the benefits of having a Halal logo include the confidence and assurance given to Muslim consumers that the product or service they are availing is indeed safe. Aside from that, the logo also expands product and niche market. It is also believed to be a competitive advantage over other companies.
Alabado cited as an example a small Halal-certified food stall in Terminal 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). It was in the midst of other food stalls and yet he said he noticed that the stall always has a long queue of customers as compared to the other non-Halal food stalls around.
“I think it is a good business decision for them because really, we have a lot of Muslim travelers,” said Alabado adding that being certified Halal really creates an edge to the business against its competitors as it expands its market reach that the competitors are not able to cater to. (JPA)