Stakeholders urged to capacitate Halal certifiers and Halal assurance officers

A Moro lawyer called on concerned stakeholders to help capacitate Halal Certifiers and Halal Assurance Officers to keep high standards in the practice of Halal certification in the country.

Lawyer Ishak Mastura, one of the participants during the consultation in the formulation of the Implementing Rules and Regulation of Republic Act No. 10817 or the Philippine Halal Export Development and Promotion Act of 2014, cited the importance for the country to meet international standards in Halal certification.

“We must have a pool of ready Halal Assurance Officers (HAO),” he said. HAOs are Muslim personnel deployed in the manufacturing firms that monitor strict compliance of the company to the requirements in Halal certification.

The consultation was held in General Santos City last Wednesday (Nov 23) participated by local Halal advocates, Halal certifiers, Ulama, NGOs, representatives from line agencies such as Department of Science and Technology, Department of Agriculture, both from Region 12 and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

It was facilitated by the Department of Trade and Industry, the lead agency in the Philippine Halal Export Development and Promotion Board or Halal Board. Halal Board is chaired by DTI Secretary while the vice-chairman is the Secretary of the  National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF).

The participants gave their suggestions on how the law shall be implemented geared towards the development of Philippine Halal industry.

One of the prospects of Halal industry the participants noted is the opportunity for Muslims to be employed should a policy in the Halal certification will include requiring companies to hire Muslim workers particularly in the production area.

Muslim staff can also help monitor compliance of the companies to the requirements of the Halal certifying body.

Halal means lawful or permissible under Shari’ah or Islamic law. Muslims consume or use Halal food and non-food products.

During the International Islamic Finance Conference held in Makait last July, President Rodrigo Duterte has pledged his support to the Halal industry development in the country.