News From : DagangHalal.com (27 Jul 2009)
Cotobato City – The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) is moving for the creation of a wide-ranging body that will pursue the court-banned government halal program in harmony with existing Islamic authority and foster maximum socio-economic benefits for all stakeholders.
BFAR, the focal office in the country’s robust fish production, claims that a Presidential order creating the Philippine Halal Accreditation Board (PHAB) or Islamic Competent Authority (ICA) could resolve the “gray areas” in current accreditation activities of government agencies and private sectors.
The body, composed of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) as the lead agency, the Department of Science and Technology (DoST), Department of Health (DoH), Department of Tourism (DoT) and Office on Muslim Affairs (OMA) as members, was formed to pursue and improve the restrained OMA functions.
OMA was named as the country’s halal accrediting and regulatory body under Executive Order 46 issued by the President in 2001.
But the Supreme Court declared the edict null and void in 2003 upon petition by the Islamic Da’wa Council of the Philippines (IDCP), which asserts authority on halal activities.
The court decision had triggered the proliferation of local groups of Islamic scholars (ulama) joining the fray of accreditation and certification in the halal industry, which reportedly generate some $240 billion revenues worldwide per year, sources said.
In his analytical study presented to higher authorities, Region 12 office of BFAR Director Sani D. Macabalang underscored the need for the President to create the PHAB or ICA to improve the halal industry, which reportedly “teems with technically deficient” private accrediting groups.
The DTI-led six-agency group, which the President mandated to submit to her its “proposed action plan and required procedures” on the halal food export industry development program not later than 60 days after the issuance of MO 201 on Dec. 23, 2005, came up the Philippine National Standard (PNS) in 2008.
It had also conducted summits and workshops on halal in the country’s major centers, during which concerned government line agencies and ulama groups suggested different methods towards the search for a public-private sector harmonized halal accreditation and certification operations.
By ALI G. MACABALANG
Source: Manila Bulletin