Press Release
November 23, 2009


Senator Edgardo J. Angara urged the country's research institutions and the expertise of chemists and food scientists to strengthen product testing and research on Halal food production. He also called for an S&T Program for Halal to set the direction in developing the country's Halal industry to effectively penetrate the global market.

"An effective S&T Program for Halal should create a unified set of national standards that must be strictly enforced. The country should harmonize all efforts in developing our Halal industry, not just for economic purposes but as an act of worship (Ibadah) and respect for the Islamic faith and religion," he said.

The Qur'anic term Halal means 'permitted, allowed or lawful'. Halal when used in relation to food and other consumer goods, means "permissible for consumption and used by Muslims". Haram is the opposite of Halal.

"This is an area of concern where research institutions can play a critical role. They can lead the process of Haram detection and food formulation so that the country can become a reliable supplier of Halal food. This is where science and technology plays a key role in addressing the needs of the industry and society," he said.

Speaking at the 2nd National Halal Forum: Enhancing Halal Science and Technology for Economic Growth and Social Equity organized by the Department of Science and Technology - Region XII, Angara said there is also a need for the government to provide support infrastructure facilities required in the Halal Industry Development, such as laboratory equipment and facilities, Halal accredited abbatoirs and dressing plants.

"S&T is essential for providing answers to contamination or identification and origin tracing of raw materials. The problem of Haram contamination is merely focused on animal products. However, the advance of food industrial technology introduces more and more complex raw materials and products into the field. It is then hard to identify or trace the origin of such materials," he said.

He called for the upgrading of technical competence of organizations and personnel in Halal certification through training, field exposure, local and international fora, and continuing enhancement of capabilities to respond to rapid developments in the food industry.

At present, the Halal food market constitutes some twelve percent (12%) of the global trade in food products. Halal covers processes such as slaughtering, storage, display, preparation, hygiene and sanitation. It covers food as well as non-food category of products.

It is estimated that the annual Halal food value globally is US$ 580 billion. In addition, the demand for Halal food and other Islamic consumer goods is increasing. In 2010, the market for Halal may reach US$1 trillion. This is a lucrative market and huge opportunity for Halal food business, in terms of domestic and international trade.

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