by Bernie Magkila, Manila Bulletin
Aleem Siddique Giapal, director of the Muslim Economic Affairs Director of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF), told reporters at yesterday’s roundtable for Alliance for Halal Integrity in the Philippines, the Philippine target is just to match the current 30 percent Malaysian share.
Guiapal quoted the official figure of Mihas, the annual Malaysian halal food fair, which placed total global halal demand at $2.3 trillion.
Of this amount, Asean accounted for 60 percent or $1.38 trillion of which Malaysia has cornered 30 percent share or $15.9 billion.
At present, the Philippines has a meager share because it lacks the credibility to become a supplier of halal products and services.
“$15.9 billion is our potential business if we get 30 percent share by 2016,” Guiapal said.
So far, there are 18 certifying halal agencies in the country but only 9 are members of the Federation of Halal in the Philippines, which are deemed the more credible halal suppliers.
Dr. Potre Diampuan, CEO of the Alliance for Halal Integrity in the Philippines, said demand for halal foods and non-food services is expected to increase rapidly as the Muslim population is increasing 1.8 percent annually.
Diampuan lamented that most of the Filipino Muslims’ halal foods and non-food stuff are still imported from Malaysia because local halal producers are deemed not credible.
“Halal is not just about food but an Islamic way of life, it has evolved to become a big business,” said Diampuan.
In the Muslim world, Halal means lawful, permitted, and allowable and thus it touches all aspects in life including the way of doing business.
To promote halal awareness in the country, the NCMF along with halal players are hosting an international halal conference on August 22-24 in the country.