Halal board to open Manila office this year

THE NATIONAL Halal Accreditation Board of the Philippines
is planning to open an office in Manila this year in a bid to promote
the growing halal export industry.

“The exact location in Manila has yet to be identified. A meeting
will be held this month in Cebu to determine the location of the office
and the exact date when the office will be put up,” Ustadz Esmael
Ebrahim, managing director of the Muslim Mindanao Halal Certification
Board, said at the sidelines of the Second National Summit of the Ulama
in the Philippines last week.

The National Halal Accreditation Board of the Philippines was
organized by Mindanao ulamas or religious scholars in January 2008 to be
the sole Islamic authority in the Philippines that would accredit halal

Halal certifiers are those who check if a product was made in
compliance with the food preparation procedures prescribed by Islam.

The Philippines now has over 50 halal certifying bodies and

Mr. Ebrahim said that the halal accreditation board wants Filipino
exporters to take advantage of the lucrative halal industry, pointing to
industry projections that the market would expand to $500 billion
globally by 2010.

The outlook for Philippine halal exports this year is positive, he
said, citing requests from countries such as Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia.

“Abu Dhabi has made orders for eggs. The beginning of shipments are
eyed this year,” Mr. Ebrahim said.

There have also been requests from Saudi Arabia for chicken and
fruits, he added. — Louella D. Desiderio