DAVAO CITY — A law mandating the segregation of halal food from non-halal food in the market is underway as the city council here unanimously approved with finality the said ordinance on Thursday, April 19.
Dubbed the “Muslim-friendly ordinance,” the measure was proposed by Councilor Halila Y. Sudagar.
Councilors who were present during Thursday’s session all voted yes to the ordinance that proposes the following:
“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.”
Halal sections in establishments
Section 6 of the ordinance states that suppliers, owners of grocery stores or supermarket through the managers, staffs, and tenants shall provide separate storage, container, or freezer exclusively for halal food items and halal-certified meat products.
Once it becomes a law after approved by the city executive and reviewed for publication, all supermarkets in Davao City are required to provide a separate payment counter called as “halal lane” for the final packing of the halal food.
“As far as I know no one in the country is offering a halal lane, so this would be the first,” Sudagar was quoted in a BusinessWorld report.
Goal: tolerant Davao
“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.
Example of prohibited acts are improper covering or sealing of halal products, mixing of halal with non-halal products, and failure to provide a space in the payment counter in the market.
Violating establishments will be fined between P500 pesos and P1,000. Penalties for second-time offenders hovers from P1,000 to P3,000 pesos and/or suspension of the business permit and license to operate for at least three to six months. Third-time violators will be fined from P3,000 to P5,000, on top of a revocation of their business permit and license to operate.
This comes after the Department of Science and Technology in Region 11 announced that this city will have its own halal laboratory for consumer products. (davaotoday.com)