THE Mindanao Islamic Chamber of Commerce (MICC) is pushing for the signing of an executive order creating the Davao City's Halal Industry Development Council to further strengthen the position of the city as a “Halal-friendly” hub.
Apart from the amended Davao City Halal Ordinance of 2010, a development council to oversee the halal industry is also being eyed in the city.
“It is already up for second endorsement and we are expecting the executive order to be signed by Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte this week," Marilou W. Ampuan, chair of the Halal committee of the Tourism Congress and founder of Mindanao Islamic Chamber of Commerce (MICC) said on Tuesday’s media roundtable discussion during the Dermpath Business Forum at the SM City Davao.
The development council will be comprised of multiagency implementing bodies, including the Department of Agriculture, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Tourism, Department of Science and Technology, among other related agencies and offices.
These offices and agencies are calling on all sectors of the country’s fledging halal industry to come together and harmonize all efforts to further boost the industry’s growth and help government come up with a unified system from production, certification, to marketing for the Philippines to maximize its huge potential in the global Halal market.
“We already have a city ordinance here supporting Halal but the problem is it has no specific persons if who are the implementing bodies to push halal, so that is why we suggested this council for the industry,” she added.
The proposed EO will be chaired by the MICC and will be vice-chaired by Davao City Investment Promotions Center (DCIPC).
“The purpose of this council is to promote the development and growth of the Halal industry in Davao City with the support of all relevant stakeholders from the government and private sector,” read the Section 2 of the EO.
One of the council’s functions is to initiate plans, programs, and activities that will promote Halal awareness, research, certification, branding, development and marketing of Davao Halal products.
At present, only four establishments are considered to have a pure Halal-certification, meaning the establishments’ Halal certifiers are recognized by the National Commission for Muslim Filipinos (NCMF).
These are Zabadani, El Bajada Hotel, El Bajada Hotel and Nadies Kitchen House.
Meanwhile, with the global market value for the Halal industry is expected to double from US $3.2-Trillion to US $6.4-Trillion by 2018, major tourism industry players are urged to take advantage to the opportunities in the growing Halal industry.
DOT with the NCMF and other industry players are now gearing up to step up promotion of Halal industry through the Philippine Halal Tourism Project which will be implemented starting this year.
“The government’s priority commitment and thrust now is to tap the major players of the tourism industry, like hotels and restaurants to be encouraged, oriented and adopt Halal in their own business because these establishments are essential to welcome and lure Muslim tourists, they are considered to be the front liners in the industry,” Ampuan said.
For the initial stage of the project, the tourism department is targeting 50 industry players to be tapped nationwide to adopt Halal principles and concepts in their businesses.
Of the figure, 10 will be in Davao, Luzon (20), Visayas (10) and Boracay (10). These are the identified key areas where Muslim tourists will potentially visit.
Also, DOT is tapping a Singapore-based Halal accreditation body, Crescent, to look into the situation of Philippine establishments in relation to Halal tourism.
Crescent rating is the world’s leading authority on Muslim travel connecting an establishment to the Muslim tourists.