Romeo Montenegro, Mindanao Development Authority (Minda) director of investment promotions and public affairs, said there are a number certifying institutions in the country but only a few are accredited by leading halal markets like the Middle East and Malaysia.
“Because even if we have halal certifications done here or our products are certified by institutions in the Philippines but if these are not accredited by the larger markets then our products would not be absorbed by those markets,” he said.
Montenegro said it is crucial that the domestic halal certifying institutions are accredited by larger markets.
He said stringent requirements of large markets make it difficult for domestic certifying bodies to secure accreditation.
“They really have to provide proof that they have the necessary capacities, facilities, and the required standards to undertake such certification,” Montenegro said.
He said if the domestic certifying institutions are accredited, halal products from the Philippines will be able to expand their reach.
“From the feedback given to us by our commercial and agriculture attaches in these countries, this is one opportunity that we have not been able to really tap fully, which is penetrating those markets especially with Mindanao products that are halal certified and the certification is accredited by those countries,” Montenegro said.
In developing the halal industry in the country, he said there will be an inter-agency collaboration in strengthening and assisting the certifying institutions and looking into ways to further enhance their capacities.