November 14, 2019
CURRENT AFFAIRS

DTI Seeks Malaysia’s ‘Recognition’ of more Filipino Halal Certifiers

(SDN) — ONLY three Philippine halal certifying bodies (HCBs) are “recognized” by Malaysia.

They are the Halal International Chamber of Commerce and Industries of the Philippines (HICCIP), Halal Development Institute of the Philippines (HDIP), and the Islamic Da’wah Council of the Philippines (IDCP).

“Recognition” means products certified halal by the three HCBs maybe accepted and traded in the Muslim country, which has one of the most stringent halal standards in the world.

On the other hand, the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) Philippine Halal Board recognizes nine HCBs, including the three, but the other six HCBs are not recognized in Malaysia, therefore, it means any product they certify is not allowed in the Muslim country for trade.

They are the Muslim Mindanao Halal Certification Board, Inc. (MMHCB), Mindanao Halal Authority (MinHA), Islamic Advocate on Halal and Development (IAHD(, Philippine Ulama Congress Organization, Inc. (PUCOI), Alliance for Halal Integrity in the Philippines, Inc. (AHIPI), and Prime Asia Pacific (PAP).

Halal KL opens

Trade Undersecretary Abdulgani Macatoman (2nd, left) lead cutting of ribbon to open Philippine exhibit booth at World Halal Congress 2019 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The DTI through its Trade Promotions and Special  Concerns Group is seeking Malaysia’s recognition for more Filipino-operated HCBs, possibly from among the six certifying groups.

Undersecretary Abdulgani Macatoman, who heads both of DTI’s Trade Promotions and Special Concerns Group, brought this message to the recent World Halal Conference 2019 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

He delivered the Welcome Remarks for the conference, informing the participants of the Philippine government’s initiatives in promoting an internationally-recognized halal industry.

He sought Malaysia’s recognition of more HCBs from the Philippines, part of his effort to get more international recognition of halal food products from the Philippines.

In an email to SDN — Science and Digital News, it was learned that the DTI official was able to get a “commitment from the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) to intensify halal trade between the Philippines and Malaysia.”

Macatoman was also able to separately convince the Halal Industry Development Council (HDC) of Malaysia “to support efforts in improving acceptability of halal foods from the Philippines by improving local certification efforts in the country.”

Halal KL crowd

Part of the international cast of the 2019 World Halal Congress on April 3-4.

He said the HDC and MITI will try to convince, JAKIM, Malaysia’s central certification body, “to recognize more certifying bodies from the Philippines.”

“This entails providing training in certification and auditing procedures to prospective certifying bodies in the Philippines under the Philippine Halal Board to enhance unification of our halal certification standards with that of Malaysia,” he explained.

An internationally-recognized halal certification from the Philippines would impact not only trade on halal food but also in tourism, the DTI official said.

“In order to tap Muslim tourists arriving in Malaysia to include the Philippines among their destinations, Philippine restaurants, hotels and other tourism facilities in the country should be convinced to obtain halal certification,” said Macatoman.

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Need we say more?

To increase awareness on the importance of halal certification of food and tourism facilities and attract more Muslim tourists visitors to the country during the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in December, the DTI will hold the Second National Halal Industry Conference in Clark Field, Pampanga, on May 2-3

In delivering his Welcome Address for the hundreds of attendees on April 3-4, he informed the conference of the Philippines’ initiative at embarking on a massive policy revitalization aimed at boosting the country’s halal industry as it tries to become a big player in the halal market covering food, pharmaceuticals, tourism, and Islamic finance.

He also called on the halal stakeholders to leverage the relevant technologies of the 4th Industrial Revolution (IR4.0), “where human capacity is greatly enhanced.”

One suggestion that Macatoman made was for the world halal industry to initiate an economic revolution to maximize its benefits for the improvement of the standard of living of the people across the globe.

He also made mention of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and blockchain, among other emerging technologies which the halal industry can leverage.

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Trade Undersecretary Abdulgani Macatoman wades into the crowd like a ‘rockstar’ at 2019 World Halal Congress. He led the Philippine Delegation to the international event.

“The possible rewards of the 4th Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0 are staggering: heightened standards of living; enhanced safety and security; and greatly increased human capacity. Rather than falling behind, the halal industry must tap into these potential benefits if it is to continue to grown on international level,” he suggested.

He cited an estimated US$3.2 trillion world halal market even as the global Muslim population continues to increase, now at around 1.84 billion-strong.

The DTI official, a successful businessman before entering government service in the administration of President Rodrigo R. Duterte, pointed out the “Ummah” population (world Islamic community) is around 24.4 percent of the total world population.

World Population Review puts the number of people on Earth in February 2019 at 7.71 billion.

“By 2030, this number (of Muslims) is expected to increase to 2.2 billion,” said Macatoman. “The growing Muslim population worldwide translates to a rising international demand for halal products.”

He added that at present the halal industry has gone truly global, saying “this ever-increasing globalization represents an exciting opportunity for the Islamic economy, to grow more prominent within the world economy as a whole.”

On the other hand, the Filipino official mentioned a host of challenges facing the halal industry, citing “international attitudes and rapid technological change” that requires “important responsibilities concerning the ethical governance of the halal industry and its proper regulation worldwide.”

Halal KL interview

Interview with a female Malaysian journalist.

By 2025, he said the world halal market is expected to reach US$9.71 trillion driven by a growing Muslim consumers and increasing variety of halal certified products.

“Developed Islamic economic ecosystem coupled with investments in the halal industry by the Philippines, China, and Thailand is expected to increase market concentration over the coming years. Technological advancement in the global halal industry to offer halal-certified products has gained consumer attraction over the past few years,” he noted.

“Muslims are becoming increasingly active as investors and manufacturers, bankers and traders, competitors and suppliers, and becoming real partners in a global economic system.”

Macatoman pointed out that the halal trade market has already cut across Muslim and non-Muslim countries because of the health benefits from halal foods, giving as examples “major non-Muslim majority economies including China, Japan, the United States, and United Kingdom.”

Moving forward, the DTI official sees the Philippines, given a strong boost and international recognition, would be able to become a major player in the global halal trade. (SDN)

Photographs: Courtesy of Ayatullah Mastura from his Facebook posts he took at the 2019 World Halal Congress and Malaysia International Halal Showcase in Malaysia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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