BFAR presses bid to create halal regulatory body in Philippines

BFAR presses bid to create halal regulatory body

July 27, 2009, 3:48pm

City – The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) is moving
for the creation of a wide-ranging body that will pursue the
court-banned government halal program in harmony with existing Islamic
authority and foster maximum socio-economic benefits for all

BFAR, the focal office in the country’s robust fish production,
claims that a Presidential order creating the Philippine Halal
Accreditation Board (PHAB) or Islamic Competent Authority (ICA) could
resolve the “gray areas” in current accreditation activities of
government agencies and private sectors.

The body, composed of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) as
the lead agency, the Department of Science and Technology (DoST),
Department of Health (DoH), Department of Tourism (DoT) and Office on
Muslim Affairs (OMA) as members, was formed to pursue and improve the
restrained OMA functions.

OMA was named as the country’s halal accrediting and regulatory body under Executive Order 46 issued by the President in 2001.

But the Supreme Court declared the edict null and void in 2003 upon
petition by the Islamic Da’wa Council of the Philippines (IDCP), which
asserts authority on halal activities.

The court decision had triggered the proliferation of local groups
of Islamic scholars (ulama) joining the fray of accreditation and
certification in the halal industry, which reportedly generate some
$240 billion revenues worldwide per year, sources said.

In his analytical study presented to higher authorities, Region 12
office of BFAR Director Sani D. Macabalang underscored the need for the
President to create the PHAB or ICA to improve the halal industry,
which reportedly “teems with technically deficient” private accrediting

The DTI-led six-agency group, which the President mandated to submit
to her its “proposed action plan and required procedures” on the halal
food export industry development program not later than 60 days after
the issuance of MO 201 on Dec. 23, 2005, came up the Philippine
National Standard (PNS) in 2008.

It had also conducted summits and workshops on halal in the
country’s major centers, during which concerned government line
agencies and ulama groups suggested different methods towards the
search for a public-private sector harmonized halal accreditation and
certification operations.