DAVAO CITY, May 4 (PNA) – Local halal industry players urged Thursday the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to fast track the completion of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for Republic Act 10817 or the Halal Export Development and Promotional Act.
Malou Ampuan, of the Mindanao Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MICCI), said the IRR is a vital component in making Philippine halal products competitive in ASEAN and BIMP-EAGA markets.
ASEAN stands for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations while BIMP-EAGA for the Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines – East ASEAN Growth Area.
“DTI must finish the drafting and finalization of the IRR. This is important to the halal industry in the country,” Ampuan said.
RA 10817 was signed into law by former President Benigno S. Aquino in May last year.
The IRR, she added, will set the National Certification Scheme and Standard for halal products in the country.
She said the global halal market is now valued at US$ 2.6 trillion.
With the absence of the IRR, Ampuan said five groups are currently recognized in the Philippines to certify halal products.
“This is only recognition. With the IRR, the standards that will certify our halal products will officially be set,” she said.
The five recognized groups include the Islamic Dawa Council of the Philippines (IDCP), the Halal Development Institute of the Philippines (HDIP), Mindanao Halal Authority (MINHA), Muslim Mindanao Halal Certification Board (MMHCB), and the Halal International Chamber of Commerce (HICCP).
RA 10817 names the DTI secretary to head the Halal Export Development and Promotional Board (EDPB), which is tasked to oversee the halal development and promotion programs in the country.
The law also mandates the EDPB to receive donations, grants, endowments and contributions from local and foreign sources to help promote and develop the halal industry in the Philippines.
Ampuan said the significant role of the EDPB is on the accreditation of halal products through the IRR of RA 10817.
“Finish the IRR now. The country is now establishing its links to world markets,” Ampuan urged the DTI, pointing out to the recent opening of the ASEAN Roll-On-Roll-Off route between the Philippines and Indonesia.
The trends within ASEAN and BIMP-EAGA tell us to strengthen the country’s halal industry by setting up the official standards through the IRR, she said.
The recognition of the five groups to certify halal products in the country is extended to two more years while the IRR of RA 10817 is not yet completed, Ampuan said.