Photo courtesy of NCMF

Gensan, Sarangani present undertaking on Halal industry dev’t at Mindanaowide Ecozone Summit 2020

The local government units of General Santos City and Sarangani Province presented their undertakings on Halal industry development at the Mindanao-wide Ecozone Summit 2020 held on-line on September 9. 2020.
The event was organized by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority and National Commission on Muslin Filipinos.
Leonard Flores, head of the City Economic Management and Cooperative Development Office, presented the opportunities and undertakings of General Santos City on Halal industry. 

He cited the advantage the city in developing Halal industry having the facilities like airport, sea port and fishport.

Flores said the city has production on agriculture like corn, mango, and pineapple and livestock. He also underscored that the city is the tuna capital of the country and the tuna industry provides job opportunity to the residents of the region.

“We are serious with our Halal industry development,” he said and added that the city is looking forward into meat processing having adequate supply of meat.

He said the city government is looking into putting up Halal slaughterhouse and welcomes investments. In 2009, the city council passed ordinance for the establishment of Halal slaughterhouse in the city.

Flores also cited that the city wants to be the known as a Muslim friendly town since the city is frequented by other nationals from the BIMP region.

He cited the importance of having more halal certified food establishments, hotels and putting up prayer areas in hospital, restaurants and other facilities for the benefit of Muslim tourists.

“We are serious with our halal industry, they are part of our priority areas,” Flores said.

The CEMCDO chief related the Halal ordinance of the city passed in 2018 requiring the supermarkets to establish Halal display area and counter. Among the five malls of the city, Robinsons Place was the first to comply.

“We are looking into the development of Halal food processing industry. We are mindful of the examples of Halal hubs in Malaysia and other ASEAN countries,” he said.

Flores said the city is counting to its Muslim constituents to help the local government realize its vision for Halal industry development.
Jennifer Kamid, the foal person on Halal of Sarangani, presented the potential of the province and its efforts on Halal industry development.
She said Sarangani has Moro Development Program that includes Halal food industry development. 

Kamid related that they have organized different Moro sectors, Imams, Muslim women, peace advocates, Asatidz, Salam Council and Moro youth and were provided with livestock, goat and cattle, and trained them to become livestock producers.

She said the provincial government supported the creation Sarangani Halal Agri-fishery Council, a bondy that helps craft plan and implement program on Halla industry.

The presenter underscored the important role of the Department of Agriculture having its own Halal Food Industry Development Program.
Kamid said they have already mapped the Halal livestock producers, individual farmers and groups.

One of the priority projects of Sarangani on Halal, according to Kamid is the establishment of Triple “A” Halal Slaughterhouse in Malapatan. 
She related that they have undertook study visit at the Halal slaughterhouse of Cotabato city for them to be equipped with knowledge on how to establish and run the said facility.

Kamid related further that they sought the technical assistance of TESDA on Halal food processing.

Aida Seddic, OIC Provincial Director of NCMF – SarGen said, “Sarangani and Gensan are promising areas for Halal investment. Aside from having considerable population of Muslim constituencies, the LGU officials have awareness on the potential of Halal industry development and wiliness to support the local Halal industry.”

She cited how willing the two local government units to pass legislation in aid of developing their local Halal industry.

Seddic suggested that focus shall be given to poultry production and establishment of Halal feed mills. 

She added there is increasing demand for organic foods as more people are becoming health conscious, thus venturing on the production of Halal organic fertilizer is a good choice of investment.

NCMF Secretary Saidamen Pangarungan said the agency is supportive to the efforts of the local government units in developing their Halal industry.