Attendees during the first day of the Halal webinar series held last June 1,2, & 8, 2022

To enhance the competitiveness of the tourism and food sector, DOST-MIMAROPA conducted the Halal Assurance and Certification webinar series between June 1-8, 2022, that focus on and promote the integration of halal-minded entrepreneurship among MSMEs from MIMAROPA provinces.

The activity, as part of the fulfillment of the goals of the DOST-MIMAROPA initiated project called “Development and Deployment of Halal Tourism Training Module and Halal Assurance Systems (HAS) to Secure Halal Compliance of Tourism Establishments”, sheds light on the opportunities that the growing Halal market is offering to food and tourism-based businesses.

Dr. Ma. Josefina P. Abilay, Regional Director of DOST-MIMAROPA, delivers her opening remarks

In her opening remarks, DOST-MIMAROPA Regional Director Dr. Ma. Josefina P. Abilay emphasized that Halal is a way of life that signifies purity, cleanliness, and safety, and that DOST has provided significant contributions in support of the Philippine Halal Industry. Among these is the promotion of Halal Tourism in MIMAROPA which intends to strengthen and secure compliance of establishments and enterprises with Halal standards, guidelines, and regulations and make way for the penetration of products and services in the Halal market.

Mr. Albei Keith Tolete, SRS II of DOST-NCR, introduces participants to the Halal concept

In collaboration with various DOST Regional Offices basic concepts on Halal and its practices and processes were highlighted. DOST-National Capital Region and DOST Region 11 tackled the benefits of certification and compliance, and the fundamentals of Shariah in Halal Assurance System. Shariah is an Arabic word for “way” or “path” and is the legal framework of Islamic law adhered to by the Muslims according to Islamic jurisprudence.

In addition, DOST Region 3 discussed the Food Safety Assurance Plan which stressed on food safety standards such as Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP), Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), and Good Hygienic Practices (GHP), and how it relates to Halal.

The concept of Halal Tourism was introduced by DOST-CALABARZON which take on the importance of attracting a larger volume of tourists through Muslim-friendly tourism and services. This include considering hospitality services like prayer area, ablution facilities, health and wellness facilities, services during Ramadan, and the establishment’s personnel.

Ms. Maritzu Sinolinding, SRS II of DOST XII, discusses one of the national standards on Halal food production

Preparation and handling of Halal food, including supplements was introduced by DOST Region 12 with a discussion on Philippine National Halal Standards (PNS 2067:2008); while the Mindanao Halal Authority walked the participants through Halal Certification Process.

A total of 15 DOST-MIMAROPA assisted MSMEs took part in the webinar series. The participants deemed the webinar series informative and helpful in the preparation for Halal certificate application as well as on the services and assistance of DOST to those seeking halal certification.

Representatives from DOST Regional Offices 2, 3, 5, 6, 10, 12 Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), National Capital Region (NCR), and CALABARZON were in attendance were also present to benchmark on DOST-MIMAROPA initiatives and practices in support of the Halal industry.