With the expanding market for Halal food and cosmetic products that caters to neighboring Muslim and Arabic nations including the country’s 10.7 Muslim Filipinos, the Department of Trade and Industry’s CAR Regional Office and the Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC) and the DTI Export Management Bureau (EMB) conducted a two-day Halal Training of Trainers on September 11-12, 2019 in Baguio City.
DTI-CAR Regional Director Myrna Pablo spearheaded the training and attended by the senior officials of key agencies from the tourism, agriculture, health, trade and industry, science and technology sectors as well as the academe who were given basic information and understanding on Halal as a way of life and the fundamental requirements for Halal food processing and manufacturing that conform to the specifications of the Philippine Halal Assurance System and eventual Halal certification of products and services. Likewise, the implementation of RA 10817 or Philippine Halal Development and Promotion Act of 2016, were conferred upon by the said converging agencies.
PTTC Training Facilitator Jezel Sunga discussed the training courses and workshops among the participants while PTTC Deputy Executive Director Nelly Nita Dillera outlined their training programs that are attuned to the administration’s Ambisyon 2040 that seeks to provide equal opportunities for all. Dillera also presented the Philippine Export Development Plan that hopes to enable Filipinos to be able to export up to 122 to 131 Billion US Dollars that includes Halal products.
Raison Arobinto, a Shari’ah and Halal Section Head of DTI-EMB spent most of the training hours explaining various Halal laws and practices to the participants including the food value chain. As a Sharia law practitioner, Arobinto gave an insight on Filipino Muslim culture, basic principles of Islam and nature of Shari’ah as the clear path to be followed by Muslims based on the Qurán. Arobinto emphasized on what are allowed and permitted on the foods, clothing and personal care, services, entertainment and finances among Muslims. He also presented the magnitude of Halal markets that local businesses can serve and Halal being a healthy and wholesome lifestyle can also be adopted by non-Muslim populace.
Furthermore, Arobinto noted that the Filipino Muslim population alone including the number of Muslim tourists in the country is already a big market for Halal products. During the interactive workshop with officers from DTI-CAR, DOST, DOT, DA, DOH and SLU, Arobinto also explained the processes and accreditation procedures in availing a Halal certification by interested MSMEs interested to get a Halal Certificate for their products.
With the Philippine Halal Export Development and Promotion Act of 2016 that recognizes the significant role of exports to national economic development, Arobinto in convergence with other concerned agencies are developing and promoting the whole value chain of Halal industries not only to increase market opportunities but to make Halal exports more competitive through product development, quality assurance measures and value-adding mechanisms to make the Philippines an active player in regional and international Halal markets.
With the first Halal Trainers Training in the Cordillera, DTI-CAR and PTTC hope to develop a pool of Halal trainers, develop Halal entrepreneurs to serve more Muslims, increase Muslim tourist arrivals and offer healthier way of life of Halal to all.