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)