By: Philippines News Agency
KIDAPAWAN CITY — The National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) has granted accreditation of the first-ever two Halal Certifying Bodies (HCBs) with assurance of full support from the commission.
Lawyer Mehol Sadain, NCMF chairman, awarded the certificate of accreditation to the Halal Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Philippines (HCCIP) and the Mindanao Halal Authority (MINHA).
HCCIP is based in San Juan, Metro Manila, while the MINHA operates in General Santos City.
Prior to its accreditation, MINHA has already certified products using stringent process in Halal certification.
Citing the advantage of being accredited, Sadain said the government will vouch for them should there be inquiry from other countries.
The two HCBs were granted certificates of accreditation after passing the audit and complying with the requirements of the NCMF’s Halal Development, Promotion and Accreditation Board (HDPAB), also chaired by Sadain.
MILF approves Halal certification
Companies may seek Halal certification from the two HCBs, which will be allowed to use the Philippine Halal logo. The national Halal seal will be inscribed with the HCB’s accreditation number in the product packaging, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) said in a statement.
The MILF, which is in peace talks with the government, had been pushing for Halal certification in the Philippines as one of the minor issues of the GPH-MILF peace talks.
Shariah Lawyer Guialil R. Kanda, NCMF field director for Region 12, said only NCMF-accredited HCB will be allowed to use the Philippine Halal logo.
Kanda said food and processed meat manufacturing companies should seek Halal certification only from government-recognized HCBs.
Having certification will guarantee the food were prepared according to Islamic practices which the NCMF had checked for competence in detecting Haram contents in the products.
What is Halal?
According to Kanda, Muslims are ordained to consume only Halal foods and drinks. It must be clean and free from any porcine derivatives. For meat products, it should come from animals which are slaughtered in accordance with Islamic tradition.
In its webpage, the MILF said non-Muslim countries like Australia, Thailand, Vietnam, New Zealand, and Brazil produce Halal food products certified by their respective credible Islamic institutions.
Muslim leaders in Mindanao are optimistic that exporting Mindanao Halal products could contribute to the economic development of the Bangsamoro people in particular and the country in general.
The Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro which was signed in October 2012 states that the Bangsamoro Basic Law may provide for the power to the Bangsamoro Government to accredit Halal-certifying bodies in the Bangsamoro.