DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) launched its Halal Verification Laboratory here on Friday, November 24, in a bid to further strengthen the halal industry.
The P50-million facility has been installed at the compound of the DOST and it is geared with high technology equipment that shall fast track verification of Halal products including food, beverages, pharmaceutical and cosmetics. It is eyed to be fully operational by first quarter of 2018.
The project is part of DOST’s promotion of Philippine Halal products in support to the recently instituted Republic Act 10817 or the Philippine Halal Export Development and Promotion Act of 2016.
“This offering will be a great boost to our fellow halal manufacturers and to our Halal consumers. We are optimistic that through this we can optimize and take advantage of the global Halal opportunities presented to us,” Dr. Anthony Sales, regional director of DOST region 11 said in his speech.
Sales said the advanced equipment in the facility would shorten the entire verification process to less than one day compared to other laboratories wherein it would at least take several days before results come out.
He said the cost of verification will be lower than the regular laboratory testing facilities because the government will subsidize some of the cost, pointing that this is to help the Halal industry develop and increase productivity and competitiveness.
Dr, Norhaida M. Lumaan, regional director of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF)has expressed her gratitude on the government’s effort in supporting the halal industry.
“The NCMF is grateful for the opening of Halal Verification Laboratory in Davao City. Halal entrepreneurs will no longer go to other places for verification. We have now easy access on the laboratory which is needed in certifying Halal products,” Lumaan said.
The facility is the first Halal laboratory in Davao City and among the four Halal testing facilities in the entire country.
With the laboratory, she hopes that the Halal products will be more abundant in the city.
“This is a great opportunity to uplift Philippine economy by developing and promoting Halal business,” she added.
Integrated Halal program
Apart from the new facility, Sales said the department is also on the process of implementing the DOST Integrated Halal Program.
This is composed of research and development, human resource development, Halal testing, and technology Transfer and Promotion.
Sales said the estimated amount for the entire program is over P500 million for the next three years.
This includes the pursuance and improvement of various Halal products, scholarship programs for students on Halal science and technology courses, and capacity building activities.
Meanwhile, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said the facility will help boost the profitability of Davao’s Halal products.
“The launch of the Halal Verification Laboratory is envisioned to increase the profitability of halal products from Davao in neighboring cities in Mindanao and in the Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines-East Asean Growth Area(BIMP-EAGA),” Duterte-Carpio said.
The mayor, who chairs the Davao City Halal Industry Development Council, said the acknowledgment of the importance of the Halal industry is reflective of the respect for cultural diversity in the country.
“Since Mindanao has the biggest of Muslim communities, it is only appropriate that we are at the forefront in terms of the efforts to ensure that our products are halal-certified,” she said.(davaotoday.com)