The Department of Industry Trade Promotions brought the Philippine Halal Industry in the map of the US$ 3.2 trillion world halal market. Speaking before the just concluded World Halal Conference (April 3-4, 2019) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Abdulgani M. Macatoman told the conference that the Philippines is embarking on a massive policy revitalization to boost the Philippine Halal Industry in order to become a big player in the halal market in the areas of halal food, pharmaceuticals, tourism, and Islamic Finance.

Rather than falling behind in the Fourth Industrial Revolution where human capacity is greatly enhanced, he said that the global halal industry should initiate an economic revolution to maximize its benefits for the improvement of the standard of living of mankind. He further said that halal market is not only for the estimated 2 billion Muslims, some one-fourth of world population, but for every person who desires healthy food and ethical standards in food consumption and business relationships.

The DTI Trade Promotions and Special Concerns Group, headed by USec. Macatoman, seeks strong policy direction for international recognition of halal food products from the Philippines by seeking wider international recognition of Philippine halal certification with certifying bodies in other Muslim countries. At the moment, of the nine certifying bodies recognized by the Philippine Halal Board, only three are recognized in Malaysia. The Gulf countries are still selectively accepting halal foods, condiments, and pharmaceuticals made in the Philippines.

In this connection, USec. Macatoman obtained commitment from the Ministry of International Trade and Industry of Malaysia (MITI) to intensify halal trade between the Philippines and Malaysia. At the same time, he separately convinced the Halal Development Council of Malaysia to support efforts in improving acceptability of halal foods from the Philippines by improving local certification efforts in the country. Together with MITI, they will convince JAKIM, the central certification body of Malaysia, to recognize more certifying bodies from the Philippines. This entails providing training in certification and auditing procedures to prospective certifying bodies in the Philippines under the Philippine Halal Board to enhance unification of our halal certification standards with that of Malaysia.

A major implication of international recognition of halal certification from Philippine certifiers impinges not only on halal food trade but also in tourism. In order to tap Muslim tourists arriving in Malaysia to include the Philippines among their destinations, Philippine restaurants, hotels and other tourism facilities in the country should be convinced to obtain halal certification. Because of this, the DTI Second National Halal Industry Conference will be held in Clark this May 2-3 in order to heighten awareness to halal certification of food and tourism facilities to ensure more Muslim tourist arrivals in the forthcoming Asian Games in December of this year.♦

Date of Release: 11 April 2019