By ZEA IO MING C. CAPISTRANO – Davao Today
DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Without a national certification scheme for Halal products, the Philippines is not yet ready to meet the demands of the Muslim, an official said on Wednesday, September 19.
Marilou Ampuan, president of the Philippine Halal Trade and Tourism, said the Philippines Halal industry is yet to come up with a new national certification scheme.
She said they are still awaiting updates from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), a government agency mandated by law to oversee the Halal Board under Republic Act 10817 or the Philippine Halal Export Development and Promotion Act that was approved on May 16, 2016.
After the law was passed, Ampuan said the Philippines has extended for two years the registration of five Halal certifiers in the country pending a new set of national certification guidelines from the DTI.
These five certifiers were previously accredited by the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF). In turn, it crafted NCMF Resolution NO. 46 on December 19, 2011 which provided the criteria and guidelines for the accreditation of Halal certification entities.
The five certifiers include the National Islamic Dawah Council of the Philippines, Halal Development Institute of the Philippines, Mindanao Halal Authority, Muslim Mindanao Halal Certification Board, and the Halal International Chamber of Commerce and Industries of the Philippines.
Ampuan could not say whether the accreditation of the five certifiers will remain after the Halal Board led by the DTI comes up with a new scheme.
She said they will meet with DTI officials at the end of the month to discuss on the issue.
Without a national certification scheme, Ampuan said Davao City’s very own Halal council will be “toothless.”
Ampuan also sits as the Vice Chairperson of the Davao City Halal Industry Development Council created in April this year.
Under the law the DTI secretary heads the Halal Board, while the secretary of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos serves as the Vice Chairperson.
Other member agencies are the Department of Agriculture , Department of Health, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Tourism , Department of Foreign Affairs, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the Mindanao Development Authority, and two Muslim Filipino professionals appointed by the president from the list submitted by Filipino Muslims organizations. (davaotoday.com)