MANILA, Philippines — The fledgling halal industry of the Philippines will get a much-needed shot in the arm with the inauguration Thursday of Intertek’s new Halal Testing Laboratory with its real-time Polymerase Reaction (PCR) System, a key component to determine “haram” (forbidden) elements in both food and non-food products.
Sandy Bucao, president and country manager of Intertek Testing Services Philippines, Inc., relayed this to the Manila Bulletin, saying Intertek has been involved in the halal industry not only in the country but also in other countries such as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).
“Intertek has a global project with the Ministry of Commerce of Saudi Arabia called the ICCP program since 1996 and is still continuing up to now. This program requires that regulated export products to Saudi Arabia passes through Intertek inspection, sampling and testing to determine its compliance to the Saudi Arabia Standards Organization (SASO) and the ICCP guideline,” said Bucao.
She said Intertek Philippines not only conducts inspections but also tests cosmetics and personal care products to detect pork fat and alcohol.
“Though this program is not considered as the Halal standard of KSA, the test requirements is part of the halal compliance as far as a Muslim consumer is concerned. This is where our interest in halal started,” Bucao said.
Ustadhz Abbdulhadi Daguit, head of Philippine Halal Awareness Center (Philhalal), and other Muslim clerics welcomed Intertek’s intensified participation in the halal trade.
“This is a ground-breaking laboratory for testing halalness of consumer products, especially in the Philippines,” said Daguit.
“Halal” comes from the Islamic Law or Shari’ah and means legal or permissible. Its opposite is “haram,” which is a term meaning illegal or forbidden. Strictly speaking, Muslims are allowed to eat or use only the consumer products that have been declared “halal” by a competent Islamic authority.
Bucao said Intertek will soon be blessing and inaugurating its new Halal Testing Laboratory with its PCR System in Makati City.
She cited Intertek’s “active partnership with highly recognized Muslim organizations in the promulgation of halal compliance and best industry practices in the whole world.”