A HALAL-CERTIFIER based in United Arab Emirates (UAE) was recently approved by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to hopefully result into a more open and healthier competition for the halal certification in the Philippines, said a committee official.
Tourism Congress Philippines (TCP) Halal Committee chair Marilou Ampuan said early this year, there is an addition to the existing five local halal certifiers of the country.
Prime Group is a certification and inspection company based in UAE but has an office at Bonifacio Global City in Taguig. Because they already have a Philippine business permit, Ampuan said it was easier for the company to be approved by DTI.
“You are not allowed to certify if you are not registered locally in the country where you were originally based. That’s the main reason why the DTI acknowledged them as one of the local certifiers because they are already compliant of the international halal standards,” she said.
It was stated on the official website of Prime Group that the company specializes on the examination of food and beverage composition through tests to check for any traces of non-halal elements such as alcohol, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and pork.
These tests include the Gas Chromatography Mass Spectroscopy (GCMs) to determine alcohol content and the Polymerase Chain Reaction to determine GMOs and pork content.
According to Ampuan, this additional number of halal certifiers will bring about a healthier competition for the halal certifiers in the country.
Aside from Prime Group, the other halal certifiers of the country include 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.
Prime Group does not only cater to halal certification but as well as other quality standard testing and certification procedures like ISO 18001, HACCP, ISO 22000, FSSC 22000, ISO 22716, and EFFCI.
“Based on the Republic Act (RA) 10817 [or the Philippine Halal Export Development and Promotion Act of 2016], the DTI is the policy-making body for this Halal Standard Scheme so they are the ones who will accredit the certifiers. It is likely impossible that we only have one certifier nationwide because it wouldn’t be what is stated on the law. Everybody is welcome as long as you are qualified,” Ampuan said contrary to her previous statement that there should be a centralized single halal certifier in the country.
She said she now believes that more halal certifiers is much better for the industry given that they would be qualified and compliant of the National Halal Standard Scheme to be launched by the DTI.
On May 4 to 6, during the Philippine National Halal Trade and Expo which will be done at Marco Polo Hotel Davao, DTI will officially launch the National Halal Standard Scheme that they came up with. This scheme will be the national basis for approval of halal certifiers and other related matters.