Philippines joins International Halal accreditation body

MANILA: The Philippines has gained membership to the International Halal Accreditation Forum (IHAF), a development seen to further spur the local halal industry by strengthening trade between the Philippines and other member countries.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said the Philippine Accreditation Bureau (PAB) signed a full membership agreement with the IHAF.

The agency said being a full member of the IHAF gives DTI-PAB voting rights at the general assembly and committee meetings that could be highly beneficial to the Philippine halal industry.

“This membership is also seen to further boost Halal trade between the Philippines and other IHAF member countries,” the DTI said.

IHAF is an independent and non-government network of accreditation entities mandated to enforce halal standards in their respective countries and regions.

With its mandate to protect the growing number of halal consumers and to facilitate international trade, IHAF establishes a solid ground for the global industry of halal food and non-food products.

This recent development bodes well for the Philippines as the country is targeting to nearly double its halal exports next year and account for a bigger share of the global halal market.

The government seeks to increase the country’s exports of halal products to $1.4 billion by next year from its current average of about $800 million annually.

Halal is used in relation to food and other consumer goods that have undergone certification as permissible for consumption and use by Muslims.

Last year, the Philippine Halal Export Development and Promotion Board was formed, comprising the DTI as chair, the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos, Departments of Agriculture, Health, Science and Technology, Foreign Affairs, Tourism, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Mindanao Development Authority, and two Muslim Filipino professionals.

“I am very proud of the positive development of the halal industry through the Halal Export Industry Development Promotion Program. The Export Marketing Bureau will assist the Philippine halal certifiers to obtain recognition to various Islamic markets so that our micro, small, and medium enterprises can export their halal products,” Trade Undersecretary Nora Terrado said.

It is also helpful in perking up the economy in the Mindanao region,” Trade undersecretary Nora Terrado said. (The Philippines Star)

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