By Estrella Z. Gallardo
Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Mario B. Montejo and Rey Nate speaker of the Philippine Halal Assembly of DOST Regional Office No. X11 Talked on a great opportunity to top into the global Halal economy held at Marriot Manila Grand Ballroom, Philippines on June 3-5, 2015.
“Undeniable, The Philippines is now faced with a great opportunity to top into the global Halal market involve found products that could be produced in the Philippines-Mindanao Region “said Montejo”
Close to 62% of ASEAN individuals are Muslim Papulace-Who are dedicated consumers of Halal products-This number also joined by the non-muslims who prefer consuming Halal products for the benefits and quality it provides.
With this, The Philippines is now faced with a great opportunity to top into the global Halal economy.
The question then is, “How do we make the most of this opportunity?” The events theme, “Synergizing Halal thru S&T” is a statement of our determination to collaborate with local and international partners in leveraging Science, Technology, and Innovation to bring about an internationally-accepted regulatory framework for a reliable and credible Philippine Halal Premium Brand.
At this point the Secretary acknowledge the presence of Secretary Yasmin Busran-Lao, Chief Executive Officer of the National Commision of Muslim Filipinos
The NCMF is the Philippine government’s agency mandated to promote and develop the Philippine Halal Industry and accredit halal-certifying entities or bodies. We fully recognize and support the NCMF’s critical role in harmonizing government efforts, towards the fulfillment of their mandate. And we are fully committed to fulfill our part in this whole-of-government effort- our role is clearly defined in our MOA with the NCMF signed in this event
Notably, among other purposes, the MOA serves to establish the DOST OneLab as the NCMF’s official laboratory, its partner government agency for laboratory services, that issues Halal laboratory test result, as one of the bases for the issuance of Halal certification by Certification Bodies duly accredited by the NCMF.
OneLab is DOST flagship program that aims to broaden public access to the testing services of all DOST laboratories; and will provide standardized technical services and fees, as well as timely and accurate calibration and test results.
The DOST X11 is a member of the DOST OneLab Network. The Halal market needs safe and wholesome products, and the DOST XII regional laboratory could help assure that the food and non-food item produced in the area can conform to such standards.
. For this purpose, we have been working tirelessly and continuously invested in the latest state-of the-art equipment and facilities, as well as highly-qualified and sufficient technical manpower. This ultimately enabled the DOST XII laboratory to provide quality and safety assurance to locally-produced and manufactured Halal products,” Montejo said.
Through the government’s efforts, the DOST XII laboratory management system had received accreditation with the International Standardization Organization and international Electro technical Commission 17025:2005 standards, and is now duly certified under ISO 9001:2008 standards. He added
Further, Montejo said that the DOST XII laboratory has a pending application for accreditation with the Turkish Accreditation Agency TURKAK. TURKAK is the head of the accreditation committee of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation-Standards Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries or OIC-SMIIC, and is responsible for the implementation of the SMIIC accreditation standards globally-we are hopeful that this accreditation will be forthcoming, Montejo further said.
At this point Montejo thanked the SMIIC for accepting their invitation and for being part of this event. He louded their efforts to harmonize the Halal standards preparation and to establish a unified Halal accreditation mechanism, for Muslim Communities in both Non-OIC Member States
We fully appreciate your expression of encouragement for DOST XIIs expertise and capabilities to adopt, implement and assure compliance to SMIIC Unified Global Halal Standards,” he also said “15 We are determined to define the stature and reputation we share with the rest of the Islamic communities, all over the world. Earnestly, we continue to take steps forward in developing the technology self-reliance of our country. Another program of the DOST, which synergizes with the DOST OneLab is the establishment of our Food Innovation Centers of FICs. “Montejo emphasized.
It is our keen hope that more laboratories will be able to meet the testing requirements and need of the Halal industry, ultimately contributing to a robust and vibrant global Halal economy, he further said. DOST FICs provide an avenue to diffuse locally-developed food processing technology, such as the water retort, vaccum fryer, and sprat dryer to SMEs- the equiptement enables them to develop and create new and innovative food products, as well as preparing them for the challenges ahead, as they enter the local and international market.
Currently, Out of the Philippines 17 Regions, these equiptment are being utilized by three FICs located in DOST Regions 2,8, and 11- and soon to be released in regions 4-A, 4-B,5,6,9,10, NCR, and eventually the DOST XII as well.
While FICS encrourage innovation in developing food products for SMEs, there products can also be tested in Halal accredited laboratories. Much porential is still left untapped, and under the Aquino Administration multiple efforts are simultaneously being implemented to maximized the potential benefits which the Halal industry presents to the Filipino people. (PScijourn MegaManila)