By Raison D. Arobinto
DTI-EMB’s Halal Section
As potentials of the halal industry rise at the global market, the Philippines is making sure of sailing with it and taking its advantage to uplift the Philippine economy by developing and promoting the halal business, and contributing to the government’s programs in alleviating poverty by providing economic opportunities to marginalized sectors through the dividends of the halal industry in the country.
With the passage of Republic Act (RA) 10817, otherwise known as “Philippine Halal Export Development and Promotion Act of 2016”, the Philippines is at an advantage of taking the opportunity in the $2.6 trillion worth halal industries worldwide (estimated to rise by $10 trillion in 2030). In addition, and as the Asean Economic Community (AEC) kicks in, products exchange and trade among Asean states are becoming closer and with less barriers. Recognizing the fact that Muslim consumers are growing at a constant, even higher pace, understanding halal both as a business venture and as a component of the Islamic religion and culture is needed, especially among non-Muslims who are venturing in the halal industry.
To this end, the Department of Trade and Industry- Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) as the head of the Halal Export Board Secretariat under Republic Act (RA) 10817, invited relevant government agencies and some concerned private sectors and non-governmental organizations to participate to the seminar on halal fundamentals held at the Crowne Plaza Galleria, Quezon City, on April 20.
Participants were able to appreciate the nature and components of halal, as well as its cultural and religious foundations and were able to put in context halal dynamics as practiced in the Philippines.
Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez attended the event and expressed optimism about the future of the halal industry in the country. In his remarks, Lopez was quoted as saying that part of the agenda of President Duterte’s visit to the Middle East recently was to bring investment for the country and the halal industry is one possible area to be explored to boost the economy and provide job opportunities to poor regions in the country.
EMB Director Senen M. Perlada, head of the Halal Export Board Secretariat, said “you can never go wrong with halal,” echoing the comprehensive coverage of halal from food to non-food products and services, including its health benefits as a way of life.
The implementing rules and regulations of the Philippine halal law are at the final stages and the national strategic planning for the development and promotion of the halal industry is expected to kick off this month. •