Erratum: Vice President of Escider Inc’s Syed Kamal Reza’s last name is Ampatuan. Our apologies.

DAVAO CITY – A Halal business investment company, said on Wednesday that Muslim businesses, particularly food establishments and other Muslim product manufacturers, must be accredited as Halal-certified.

Mims Ayunan, president and CEO of Escider Inc., said Halal “is an arabic term for lawful.”

“So when it comes to businesses, having a Halal certification means that a business is following the Muslim law and [is] doing a lawful business in accordance to the city’s laws.”

Syed Kamal Reza Ampatuan, vice president of Escider Inc, also said that if businesses are not Halal-certified, “they would somehow break the Muslim laws.”

“The opposite of Halal is Haram, which means prohibited, and we find Muslim businesses who are not Halal-certified as Haram, or those who do businesses illegally,” he said.

“Muslim businesses are not interest-based, which means that these businesses follow the Shariah compliance. We are just aiming to help boost the economic growth of our country through these businesses,” Ampatuan added.

He also said that the word Halal must be used “with due respect”.

“We warn those people who just use the word “Halal” as a plain word, since it represents the lawfulness of the Islam and the respect it gives to the Muslims,” he said.

Under City Ordinance No. 0447-10, or the Halal Ordinance, business establishments who use the word “Halal” will be urged to accredit their businesses as such and be punished for not complying with the requirements.

The Ordinance requires restaurants, fast-food chains, eateries, food stalls and other business establishments and manufacturers which serve “Halal” foods to have an accreditation from the Halal certifying agencies here prior to the posting of the word Halal in their products.

Ordinance author, Councilor Mabel Acosta, said the ordinance has been existing since 2010, “but we recently made some amendments as to the contents of this ordinance.”

Acosta said “this is the very first Halal ordinance in the Philippines.”

Acosta said that having an accreditation for a Halal certification means that the city’s economy will boost and lawfulness will be observed and strengthened.

“With business establishments, may it be Muslim or not, having a Halal certification means that there is really more to gain, since people would want to buy foods or products that are really safe and processed carefully. It would also increase tourism attraction as well as investment growth,” she said.

She also said that there would be a proposal of having a Halal slaughterhouse, which will be submitted to the council for next week’s session.

“These business entrepreneurs will be presenting a project of having a Halal slaughterhouse which will be located in Toril, but further details will be presented next week,” she said.

The1st Mindanao Halal Festival will be held at the Abreeza Mall Activity Center this coming July 15-16, which will showcase Halal food, apparel, fashion accessories, investment techniques, talents and other products and services that
are Halal-certified.

The highlights of this event include the pre-launching of the very first Halal ordinance and the Mindanao-wide Qur’an memorization competition.

“This will be a two-day activity in line with the culmination of the Ramadan of our Muslim brothers and sisters,” Acosta said. (

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