DAVAO CITY— This city is set to implement the Halal ordinance in October, Councilor Halila Y. Sudagar, the chairperson of the committee on cultural communities and Muslim affairs, has announced.
Dubbed as “Muslim-friendly ordinance”, Sudagar said that the ordinance is still for publication, but the full implementation is set on October.
The ordinance will cover all grocery stores and other establishments selling raw fish, seafood, meats, processed meat and other meat products, including suppliers thereto, to segregate halal food from non-halal/haram food items, from delivery to storage, display weighing, slicing carrying thru baskets/carts/trolleys.
“There are some malls who already started the arrangement on segregation of Halal foods and non-Halal foods so maybe some of the malls are only waiting for the publication before they can implement the ordinance,” she said.
Sudagar said shopping malls that started to arrange halal food from non-halal food are NCCC Mall, SM Malls and S&R Membership Shopping.
“But there is no segregation yet on counter areas since there are still no Halal lane in the cashiers,” she said.
Sudagar said that once it becomes a law, all supermarkets in Davao City are required to provide a separate payment counter called “Halal lane” for the final packing of the Halal food.
Grocery stores and other business establishments are obliged to follow the ordinance to avoid penalties.
She said that for the first violation, there will be a penalty of P1,000, second violation will be P3,000 and the third violation is P5,000 on top of a revocation of their business permit and license to operate.
Sudagar said that for clarification, public markets are not included in the ordinance, since “there is already an existing segregation in the public market and Muslim consumers will know if it’s Halal or non-Halal food.”
“The purpose of the ordinance is to promote, protect, and respect the religious belief, customs and traditions of our Muslim community in Davao City in their sacred concept of halal and to ensure the spiritual purity and cleanliness on their food consumption.” the ordinance reads. (davaotoday.com)