DA Rolls out its 6th Banner Program – the Halal Food Industry Development Program
NAGA CITY – The Department of Agriculture is currently conducting across the country an orientation and awareness campaign on Halal Food Industry Development Program (HFIDP) –its newest banner program in compliance with the Republic Act No. 10817, or the Philippine Halal Export Development and Promotion Act of 2016 .Engineer Ibrahim Racmat, the HFIDP National Focal Person of the DA came all the way from Manila to personally conduct the first of a series of orientation and awareness campaigns on this latest program
According to Racmat, Halal is a term from Qur’an which means permitted, lawful, legal, ligitmate, allowed acceptable, unprohibited, or unforbidden, free from impurities (when referring to food) and allowed for consumption or to be eaten in accordance with Shariah Law. Racmat added that it is an Islamic value, a code for Muslim to consume only what is permissible and lawful by Islam anchored on the principle of Thayyiban which refers to wholesomeness, wherein safety, cleanliness, nutrition and quality is assured. But Halal is not only limited to food but also includes non-food products .
Over 50 participants consisting of leaders and representatives of the Muslim communities, Officials and representatives of the Provincial Agriculture Offices and provincial Veterinary Offices, DA regional officials and staff attended said briefing held in one of the hotels in this city.
DA – Bicol Regional Technical Director for Research and Regulations Dr. Edgar R. Madrid in his message to the participants underscored that the bottomline is the implementation of the Halal Program is food safety and compliance with the Halal requirements to make our products competitive especially in the export market where Halal certification is now a consideration
Eng. Racmat also discussed the concept, principles and understanding of Halal and where the Religion and Business intersect, the Philippine National Halal Certification Scheme including the Food Safety Assurance Plan and the Halal agriculture and Fisheries and Halal feed products. Meanwhile , Alfred Transfiguracion Planning Officer III of HFIDP presented the Halal Food Industry Development Program and Roadmap. Another speaker, Jayson Ajero, Science Research Analyst of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) discussed the mandate of their agency on the Philippine halal Export Development and Promotion Act of 2016 and Halal Opportunities.
Rosita M. Imperial , DA Bicol Chief of the Regulatory Division and Regional Focal person of HFIDP explained that DA’s role in the implementation of this program is more focused on the production and postharvest aspect in the value chain. She bared that so far the pili products ts of J. Emmanuel have already obtained Halal certification. More Bicol products and entrepreneurs have submitted their application for Halal certification which is being done by an accredited third party accreditation body. A series orientation and information campaign activities will also be conducted at the provincial levels.
Also discussed during said activity were the Good Agricultural Practices (GAP Principles and Certification Guidelines by Editha Pelin, Senior Agriculturist; Good Animal Husbandry Practices (GAHP) Principles and Practices and Organic Agriculture Principles and Certification Guidelines by Ailyn Rafer, Regional Organic Agriculture Focal Person. (Emily B. Bordado)