In a bid to boost tourism and better serve the Muslim community, the Philippines is setting its sights on strengthening its halal industry, according to Vice President Sara Duterte. This initiative follows separate meetings with the ambassadors of Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam, two countries with significant Muslim populations.
A statement from the Office of the Vice President (OVP) indicated that Duterte, who also serves as the Education Secretary, is committed to launching programs that will bolster the halal industry. Halal refers to food and products that are permissible under Islamic law.
During their courtesy calls, Malaysian Ambassador Abdul Malik Melvin Castelino and Brunei Darussalam Ambassador Megawati Manan both emphasized the potential benefits of enhancing the halal industry in the Philippines. They suggested that such a move would make the country more appealing and accommodating to Muslim communities.
“I agree with you regarding the halal industry,” Duterte responded to Megawati. She recalled her time as the mayor of Davao City, during which she established a council to explore ways to enhance the city’s halal industry. By the end of her mayoral term, the city had successfully set up a halal slaughterhouse, a significant step towards serving the local Muslim community and attracting Muslim tourists.
Ambassador Malik suggested that the Philippines could also explore the potential of halal industries beyond food, such as cosmetics. This opens up a new avenue for the country to tap into the global halal market, which is not only vast but also rapidly growing.
The statement from the OVP also noted that the ambassadors expressed interest in fostering cooperation in various fields, including education, tourism development, trade, and industry. This collaboration aims to deepen the bilateral relations between the Philippines and the respective countries.
The move to strengthen the halal industry in the Philippines aligns with the global trend of catering to the growing Muslim population. It also presents an opportunity for the country to diversify its tourism industry and appeal to a broader range of international visitors.
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