By Raison D. Aborinto | Halal Section | DTI-Export Marketing Bureau

18 April 2018

Published also in Business Mirror

THE Philippine Halal Export Development and Promotion Board, composed of nine government agencies led by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), will hold its first-ever Philippine National Halal Conference on May 2 and 3 at the Marco Polo Hotel, Davao City.

With the theme “Towards Making the Philippines a Respectable Player in the Global Halal Ecosystem,” the conference will feature the unveiling of the comprehensive Philippine Halal Export Development and Promotion Strategic Road Map, a result of a series of consultations and extensive work collaborations among all major stakeholders concluded last year.

The strategic road map includes the launch of the approved Philippine National Halal Certification Scheme and the Accreditation Guidelines, two of the most important components of  halal in the quest to be recognized as a major player in the global halal ecosystem.

During the sixth Halal Export Board meeting held on March 21, the Board emphasized the need for the Philippine standard-setting bodies, such as the DTI, Department of Agriculture, and Department of Health, to develop the necessary standards for Philippine halal to be recognized in the global halal ecosystem.

The conference will also gather some of the major halal global players to share their experiences and best practices in establishing a respectable and sustainable Halal ecosystem in their respective countries. This will be done through holding of lecture sessions with resource speakers from the well-known experts in the Halal international community.

Also happening during the conference is the Assembly of the Philippine Muslim Religious Scholars, where information sessions and lectures on development of the halal industry with respect to the Sharia aspect in particular will be conducted. The assembly would also aim to identify from among these Muslim scholars one resource person who will perform the religious components necessary to strengthen the Philippines integrity for halal.

As the Philippines opens its door for the global halal market, it also widens its horizon as it pursues several cooperation instruments for Halal from the global halal community.

In April last year, the Philippines, represented by Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez, and Brunei Darussalam, represented by Pehin Dato Dr. Mohammad Yasmin Umar, the minister of Energy and Industry at the Prime Minister’s Office, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the Halal Industry and Halal Export Development and Promotion.

The Philippines also signed a membership with the International Halal Accreditation Forum in December 2017. Ihaf is an independent, non-government network of accreditation entities that are mandated to enforce halal standards in their countries and territories. The Philippine affiliation to Ihaf is expected to pave the way for the entry and acceptance of Philippine halal-certified products to the member markets of the organization.

A similar instrument will also be signed between the Philippines and the United Arab Emirates Standardization and Metrology Authority on mutual recognition for halal accreditation. The MOU was already agreed upon by the two parties in February, however, the actual signing of the agreement would take place during the conference as one separate side event.

The conference will be participated in by Philippine MSMEs with halal-certified products and services, including travel and tourism services sector; representative from government agencies; Philippine halal certification bodies; academe; Muslim and interested non-Muslim consumers; Muslim religious groups; concerned civil society groups; international major halal players; and other stakeholders.