Meeting to address Halal issues

A GROUP is planning discuss with representatives of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Davao City Halal Industry Development Council the setting up of national standards for the Halal industry.

Marilou Ampuan, president of the United Islamic Center Foundation and one of the founders of the Mindanao Islamic Chamber of Commerce (MICC), said yesterday during the Wednesdays @ Habi at Kape at Abreeza Mall they want to meet with representatives of the agencies so they can raise concerns of the agency.

“The biggest problem we have right now here in Davao is that we do not have local certifiers,” Ampuan said, adding that the meeting may take place before the end of the month. She added that also expected to attend the meeting is Lemuel Ortonio, acting head of the Davao City Investment Promotion Center.

She said local certifiers are needed so businesses will be able to secure their services as this will eventually become the focal point in pushing the city to become a Halal hub in Mindanao.

“Without Halal certifiers here, is not easy to promote Halal tourism,” said Ampuan, as she noted that her group is promoting Halal tourism in Mindanao.

Ampuan said, there are five halal certifiers nationwide that are recognized by the DTI, but they were not accredited by the department.

These include: Islamic Dawah Council of the Philippines (IDCP); Halal Development Institute of the Philippines (HDIP); Mindanao Halal Authority (MinHA); Muslim Mindanao Halal Certification Board (MMHCB); and Halal International Chamber of Commerce (HICCP).

However, these five DTI-recognized certifiers were only given an extension of two more additional years to exercise their certifying authority on Halal applicants as the department is already working on the policies for the National Halal Standard.

Originally, the National Commission on Muslim Filipino was given the mandate to or accredit Halal businesses during the term of President Benigno Aquino III, but the task was then transferred to DTI.

Meanwhile, DTI is continuously working on finalizing the National Halal Standard which will become a policy body for the national certification scheme for the code of ethics of the halal standard.

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