The increasing opportunities for Halal Market prompted the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the City Government of Puerto Princesa to increase the awareness of the local stakeholders on Halal Standards.
The prospects for Palawan and Puerto Princesa are extensive due to the increasing number of tourists annually, especially from neighboring Asian and Muslim countries, who are looking for Halal-certified restaurants and food establishments. Neighboring countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia are among the predominantly Muslim countries who visit the country.
The City Agriculture Office confirmed that there is no Halal slaughterhouse yet in the locality, and very few restaurants in the city have Halal certification.
“Marami tayong mga turista dito sa Puerto Princesa kaya pinu-push. Sa ngayon ay limited pa lang ang may Halal certifications,” City Agriculturist Melissa Macasaet said.
Last week, April 3, 2019, a Tekno-Talakayan on Halal Food Industry Development Program was conducted by the DA in Sunlight Hotel and Resort to provide knowledge on Halal certification and establish Halal linkages and networking.
The activity was participated by the City Agriculturist and staff of the City Agriculture’s Office, City Veterinarian, City Tourism Officer, together with the 55 slots allotted for organic farmers, hotel, resort and restaurant owners, manufacturing company owners and Muslim community in the city.
Macasaet said one of the participants of the activity is the chef himself of a Halal- certified establishment in the city. This Monday, April 15, 2019 the DA-MIMAROPA Chief of the Regulatory Division, Helen O. Aceret is set to visit the city for the identified priority activities for Halal.
DA Regional Executive Director Antonio G. Gerundio said that Tekno-Talakayan was in line with the instruction of the DA Secretary. “This is in line with the marching order of Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol to promote and enhance production of Halal compliant and friendly-policy standards, goods, facilities and tourism services,” he said.
Department of Tourism (DOT) Assistant Secretary for Mindanao and Palawan, Myra Paz Valderrosa-Abubakar discussed the significant contribution of the Halal market to the local economy in tourism destinations like Palawan.
Presented and discussed during the activity were basic concept, principles and understanding on Halal, the Philippine Halal Export Development and Promotion Act of 2016 also known as Republic Act 10817, Halal agriculture and fisheries products, Philippine National Standards for Halal slaughtering practices for ruminants and poultry, Halal certifications, the DA Halal Food Industry Development Program (DA-HFIDP).
Other resource speakers during the activity were Senior Science Research Specialist Engr. Ibrahim A. Racmat of the Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards, Project Assistant IV Jamaica Catimbang of DA-Halal Project Management Office, and Regional Director Ma. Elizabeth D. Callanta of the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS).