Officials at the forefront of the Halal industry in the Philippines have emphasized the need to bolster the Halal promotion campaign, including the necessity of increasing the number of Halal certifiers.
Expanding Demand for Halal Goods
At the 8th Philippine Halal Trade and Tourism Expo (PHTTE) at the SMX Convention Center in Davao City, National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) Commissioner Michael Mamukid spoke about the country’s increasing demand for Halal foods and services. He mentioned, “The Philippines needs more halal certifiers as even non-food products are growing in numbers that require certification.”
Mamukid stressed the escalating demand for healthy food and options has made Halal products more appealing, not just to Muslims but also to non-Muslims. “More and more MSMEs [micro, small, and medium enterprises] are seeing the value of making products that are Halal,” he said. The NCMF plays a crucial role in this sector as part of the policymaking body for the creation and regulation of Halal standards and the accreditation of Halal certifiers.
Bringing Halal into the Mainstream
Mindanao Development Authority (Minda) Secretary Maria Belen Sunga Acosta acknowledged the work still needed to introduce Halal products to the country’s mainstream market and correct any misconceptions about Halal production methods.
She emphasized the importance of education and awareness to dispel these misconceptions, saying, “We have to intensify our halal promotion campaign because there are still segments of the population who have limited knowledge of Halal. Part of improving the Halal system is through education and awareness targeting the wider public.”
Assessing Current Certifiers and Supporting MSMEs
Marilou Ampuan, PHTTE president and 2023 Halal Expo organizer, noted that the country currently has 11 Halal certifiers nationwide, a figure she deems satisfactory for now. However, she highlighted the need to support MSMEs in leveraging the Halal ecosystem through promoting, developing, and training them, especially with an export focus. This task will need the involvement of government agencies, such as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
Recognizing Increasing Demand
Councilor Alberto Ungab, representing Davao City Mayor Sebastian Duterte, reiterated the growing demand for Halal products and services across the country. He saw the expo as a significant step toward Davao City’s aspiration to become the country’s Halal center.
Councilor Myrna Dalodo-Ortiz further voiced support for strengthening the Halal industry, acknowledging the potential to attract more tourists from Islamic countries due to the city’s catering to the specific needs of Muslim food demand.
The PHTTE Expo
The PHTTE Expo, a three-day event spearheaded by the Universal Islamic Center and the Davao City Halal Industry Development Council, aimed to develop and market the Halal ecosystem, facilitate business meetings and plenary sessions, and integrate Halal commerce into mainstream markets. It was conducted in partnership with various governmental bodies including the City Government of Davao, NCMF, DTI, Department of Agriculture, Department of Health, Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Department of Foreign Affairs, Minda, and the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) of the Department of Tourism.
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