The Government targets more overseas markets and offers more Halal products in a bid to make the Philippines become a significant player in the global Halal market.
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Abdulgani Macatoman said the country has been participating in the global Halal market through its top export products including fruits and nuts, bread and pastry, cereals and milk, sauces and seasoning, animal fats and vegetable oils.
“Healthier lifestyle and halal food are rising in popularity during this time of global health challenges”, he said.
Macatoman said, it also continues targeting the export of Philippines Halal products through ASEAN members – Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia, and Singapore.
To Gulf Cooperation Council markets and other Middle Eastern countries, we look forward on adding to our export portfolio Halal poultry and meat once our hubs are set up with Halal certified slaughterhouses and laboratories. We are optimistic that this goal would be realized, he said.
Macatoman added these initiatives are in line with the implementation of Philippine Halal Export Development and Promotions Strategic Plan 2018-2022 which serves as the guidepost in realizing the potential of the country as a notable player in the Halal global market.
To maximize potential and competitiveness of the Philippine halal micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), he said the DTI and Halal certifying bodies have initiated training and workshops to facilitate them as well as expand more linkages with the local and international Halal community.
Macatoman said, it has launched the interactive Halal mobile application that aims to increase awareness of the local Halal industry, promote the readiness of the Philippines to supply Halal certified products and services, and provides easy access guide for Halal certified establishments and products.
The DTI Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB) has also initiated a marketing campaign to promote the branding of the Philippine Halal products and make it accessible to stakeholders through various media.
“Likewise, the Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC) is implementing training programs to ensure compliance of processes and services to the national and international standards, and integrity of producers, manufacturers, and providers of Halal products”, he added.
According to Macatoman, the country will continue working with the Philippine Halal Export Development and Promotion Board in crafting policies making the Philippines a competitive and respectable player in the Halal market.
“We will strengthen public industry-academe partnership so that all our efforts are geared towards developing a competitive Halal certifying body, an MSME or the Philippine Halal Export Industry to substantially contribute on the upliftment of the lives of our countrymen”, he said.
According to DTI Undersecretary for regional operations group Blesila Lantayona, they are implementing programs and initiatives for the promotion and development of the Philippine halal MSMEs through the Negosyo Centers.
“The Negosyo Centers could be effective vehicles to promote and to further intensify the promotion of halal down to the city and municipalities nationwide”, she said.
To promote capacity-building, Lantayona said that the DTI regularly conducts Halal-related seminars and orientations to MSMEs and future MSMEs on the importance of Halal, opportunities in both domestic and international markets, and government assistance for their certification and halal certifying bodies for their accreditation through the 1,156 Negosyo Centers established nationwide.
She mentioned that the shared service facility (SSF) is another program meant to strengthen the Halal industry as it equips the MSMEs with the right tool to level up production and increase productivity with access to advance and more sophisticated equipment.
“Through the SSF program, MSMEs will have higher productivity and better and efficient products, higher levels of innovation and creativity, and improve market access”, she added.
PCCI President Ambassador Benedicto Yujuico said, that Halal today is not only confined to food and food-related products but has revolved to include non-food and services such as pharmaceuticals and health products, cosmetics and personal care, logistics and packaging, branding and financing, among others.
“With the huge potential of Halal, I could say that it can help us improve our country’s export performance which has been underperforming if we benchmark ourselves with our ASEAN neighbors”, he said.
According to Yujuico, the total Halal export share in 2018 amounted to USD560 million.
“(This was) relatively small amount. This can grow better in the coming years if MSMEs will learn to access and maximize the full potential of the global halal market hence, cohesive work by the government and private sector is very important towards achieving this goal”, he added.