Trade expo to raise awareness on Halal products, services

WITH the objective of promoting and raising awareness about Halal food, products, and services, the Universal Islamic Center Foundation (UICF) will hold the first Philippine Halal Trade and Tourism Expo at Seda Hotel on May 4, to be followed by a Muslim Attire Fashion Show on May 5 to 7 at Abreeza Ayala Malls, Davao City.

UICF president Marilou Walohan Ampuan, during the weekly press conference at Habi at Kape at Abreeza Ayala Malls last Wednesday, April 5, said the expo is part of their effort in making Davao City as the “model of halal.”

"We already have existing ordinances here in Davao City related to Halal. In fact, we have this local ordinance that says we cannot simply use halal logo in any establishment if it is not certified halal. Aside from that, we also have another ordinance, I'm not sure if it's already approved, which separates halal lane area in leading supermarkets," Ampuan said.

Ampuan is also the chairperson of the Halal Committee of the Tourism Congress Philippines.

She also said this expo will be important for hotels, restaurants, and other tourism-related establishments to be able to strictly implement halal processes in their establishments, especially those who are certified halal already.

The UICF president said this will help the city's tourism as Muslim tourists sometimes experience difficulty in finding halal restaurants or establishments during their stay in the city.

"The information about Halal, the schedule of prayer, where the nearby mosques are, will be included in the Tourism Halal Services that will be showcased during the expo," Ampuan said.

"Based on our study in Malaysia, there are no specific guidelines yet for Halal services but for the food. We have this existing guidelines, and for the products as well. This is international. But for Islamic Banking and Finance, we don't have that in the Philippines because we are not an Islamic country. But Malaysia, Indonesia, and some countries in the Middle East have this," she added.

Philippine Halal Trade and Tourism Expo, with the theme "Aggressive development and promotion in Halal Business and Tourism Industry: Moving towards change in Philippine market", targets to raise awareness and knowledge in relation to halal processes, not only to the non-Muslim members of the community but also to the establishments in the city to be able to make Davao City a Muslim-friendly environment.


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