By: Danilo E. Doguiles, PIA
COTABATO CITY, Oct 23 (PIA) — Halal food safety team from the Department of Science and Technology 12 has recently embarked on the evaluation of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) on their readiness to join the growing halal industry.
The assessment, particularly on MSMEs involved in food production, does not only cover Soccsksargen Region but also the Cordillera Administrative Region, an official of DOST 12 said.
Dr. Zenaida Hadji Raof-Laidan, DOST 12 regional director, said in August, DOST-CAR requested the halal food safety team here to assess and evaluate the V&V Dried Mango Production in Bangued, Abra.
The assessment covered the MSME’s entire process from farm-sources to production and display areas.
Several aspects were also evaluated, Laidan added, including raw materials, processing, storage, packaging, and selling.
Apart from the assessment, the team also promoted the agency’s advocacy on Halal industry requirements on food safety, personnel hygiene, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), and other halal quality assurance system requirements.
Same team has also started in September the pre-assessment of businesses covered in the agency’s consultancy program Manufacturing Productivity Extension (MPEX).
Already visited were the Green Tropics and Rochiele Pasalubong Center in General Santos City and Mang Gorio Resto and other MPEX in South Cotabato.
Also covered in the recent assessment were San Pedro Multi-purpose Cooperative, Sultan Muscovado, Gacayan Coffee, and Rookie Colony Muscovado in Sultan Kudarat.
Pre-assessment was also done on Aroman Women’s Natural Food Producers Multi-purpose Cooperative and Kabasalan Women’s Cooperative in North Cotabato.
Laidan vowed these MSMEs will be assisted in their development and implementation of a halal quality assurance system to meet requirements for halal certification by the National Commission for Muslim Filipinos-accredited Halal certifying bodies.
“Halal pre-assessment activities started in 2008 when the Philippine Science and Technology Program for the Development of Halal Industry was launched”, Laidan said.