Makati City, Philippines—The global Halal market currently presents a trillion-dollar opportunity, and the Philippines is uniquely positioned in the Asia-Pacific region to capture this market. This was what Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Fred Pascual highlighted during the third Halal Stakeholders Consultation Forum on June 10.

From L to R: DTI-Halal Industry Development Program Manager Aleem Siddiqui Guiapal, Trade Secretary Fred Pascual, and DTI Chief of Staff Ana Carolina Sanchez.

“Our goal is to create a robust ecosystem for investment, certification, and training, with the potential to generate PHP 120 million in investments, create 120,000 jobs, and achieve a 20% increase in Halal exports of products and services within the next five years,” the trade chief added.

A significant development involved finalizing the proposed partnership with Brunei Darussalam to reduce technical barriers to trade and investment in Halal food products and services, enhance bilateral cooperation, and foster investments and business partnerships.

This envisioned partnership with Brunei Darussalam is expected to expand the Department’s milestones, which were presented by DTI Halal Industry Development Office Director Aleen Siddiqui Guiapal. These include investments of a PHP 2 billion Halal-friendly hotel in Clark City and a PHP 350 million poultry facility in Tarlac last year—signifying the country’s potential to become a big player in the global Halal market.

Furthermore, the DTI has streamlined the Halal certification process by recognizing internationally accredited certification bodies. This initiative has showcased the country’s expanding footprint in the international arena, as it facilitated the integration of Philippine Halal-certified products into new markets such as the UAE and Canada. Domestically, the International Food Expo (IFEX) 2024 saw 13 companies generate PHP 26 million in export sales, which underscored the growing demand for Philippine Halal products.

Stakeholders the government and the private sector at the Halal Stakeholders Consultation forum

“By leveraging our demographic strengths and fostering partnerships in Halal banking, infrastructure, logistics, and technology, we are poised to create a vibrant and sustainable Halal industry that drives economic growth and celebrates our cultural heritage,” said Secretary Pascual.

The forum also encouraged stronger interagency collaboration with key government agencies, including welcome additions from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).

Also present in the meeting were Department of Tourism Undersecretary Myra Paz Abubakar, Department of Health Undersecretary Abdullah Dumama Jr., Department of Agriculture Undersecretary Zamzamin Ampatuan, DAR Undersecretary Amihilda Sangcopan, National Commission On Muslim Filipinos Executive Director Tahir Lidasan Jr., Department of Foreign Affairs Office of International Economic Relations Executive Director Maria Louella Duarte, Department of Science and Technology Regional Director Emelita Bagsit, Halal Export Board member Coyogan Bansao, and TESDA Assistant Executive Director Katherine Amor Zarsadias. ♦

Date of release: 11 June 2024