BAGUIO CITY, Sept. 18 (PIA) - - Halal is more than just a "no pork" food in the Muslim community. It comes with an array of products having a potential in the global as well as local markets.
Halal is an Arabic word which refers to lawful or permissible under Sharia'h (Islamic Law). Aside from food, Halal also includes non-food and services.
There are identified Halal "quick-wins" or those that are visible, have immediate benefit and can be delivered quickly.
On food which may be fresh or processed are banana, pineapple, mango, coconut, muscovado sugar, processed fisheries, carageenan among others.
Non-food products are pharmaceuticals, personal care, cosmetics, medical devices and Islamic fashion while services include Muslim friendly tourism, Islamic financing, Shariah- compliant stocks, and Halal logistics.
Based on the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) reports, there is a growing global Muslim market with an annual growth rate of 1.84 percent with Asia registering 1.36 billion population while Africa with 568.55 million.
Given the scenario, the government is boosting efforts to promote the halal industry in the regions.
Trade and Industry Development Specialist Maraha Pasong said the government mandates the implementation of the Halal program among concerned agencies anchored on Republic Act 10817 otherwise known as the Philippine Halal Export Development and Promotion Act of 2016.
The national government is ushering the development of the industry in order to take advantage of the global and domestic opportunities for its market as it has a potential contribution to the economy. It creates jobs, generates investments and revenues and strengthens culture, Pasong explained during an Economic Development Sectoral Committee meeting of the Cordillera Regional Development Council.
The goal is to develop and apply standards and practices of Halal agriculture and manufacturing; organize and develop accredited certification bodies, capacity building and formulation and application of internationally-accepted accreditation standards; identification and expansion of markets, and forging of international and bilateral agreements especially on harmonization of standards.
Department of Trade and Industry - CAR Director Myrna Pablo said its Central Office's Export Marketing Bureau is implementing the program. In the regions, concerned agencies are still undergoing trainings on the technicalities of the program.
Last September 11-12, a two-day training by the DTI-Export Marketing Bureau was slated for the Department of Science and Technology, Dept. of Health, and Dept. of Tourism.
The plan is to create and localize the National Halal Board and come up with existing Halal services in the region, said Pasong.
Halal is not just for Muslims but for everyone to appreciate as a way of life, she stressed. (JDP/SCA-PIA-CAR, Benguet)