By Edd K. Usman
During the launch of guidelines for accreditation of halal certifying bodies by the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF), Ambassador Dato Mohammad Zamri Mohammad Kassim said Malaysia “will continue to support the Philippines, particularly the NCMF, in furthering its capabilities and capacities in developing the Philippine halal industry.”
He said the Islamic Development Department or JAKIM has been cooperating with NCMF in the past and will continue “sharing of information and expertise.”
He cited the increasing importance of halal affairs in the Philippines, which has a significant number of Muslims.
“Indeed, the prospects for the development of halal affairs in the Philippines are enormous,” said Kassim.
Kassin noted many similarities among the people, culture, geography, and religion of the two countries.
“In addition, the Philippines, especially the Southern Philippines, sit in close proximity to the large Muslim populations of Southeast Asia,” the diplomat said, citing his country, Indonesia, and Brunei.
He described as “very encouraging” the ongoing cooperation on halal matters between his country and the Philippines.
Internet sources said Malaysia is one of the leaders when it comes to the world halal industry, estimated to be “over US$2.3 trillion annually.” Malaysia exports in the halal industry are pegged at $11 billion.
Before the launch of the guidelines, any Islamic group without scrutiny of their qualifications and capability can engage in halal certification of products to the detriment of consumers.