Press Release
September 9, 2010


SENATOR Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. wants to establish a Halal system for certification and accreditation for food, non-food products and services that are being consumed and patronized by the Muslim community to safeguard their religious practices and protect their rights.

In re-filing senate bill 1991, the senator seeks to establish the general guidelines for the Philippine Halal System and create a regulatory board which will be responsible for managing and implementing programs in relation to the production, preparation, storage and distribution of halal-approved food, non-food merchandise and services.

Halal, according to Bong Revilla, pertains to food or products permitted for human consumption under Shariah law.

"Most food and non-food products we patronize are manufactured and prepared without the consciousness of other religious belief. Some products that are available in the market are not permissible for consumption for our Muslim brothers," he said, adding that "they have an Islamic dietary law and they also have a proper method of slaughtering an animal for consumption."

He said the status quo restricts the Filipino Muslims in pursuing their right to health and at the same time, it limits their freedom to exercise their religion.

Qur'an, Islam's holy book, enumerated a variety of substances that are considered harmful for human consumption. These are: pork, blood, animals slaughtered and dedicated to other gods, carrion or carcasses of dead animals, animals that have been strangled, beaten or gored to death, alcohol and other intoxicants.

If enacted into law, there shall be guidelines on the preparation, handling and storage that should be followed by industries and manufacturers of food, beverage, cosmetics, garments and textile in order to obtain Halal certification.

"Although the Philippines is predominantly Christian, the enactment of this bill shows respect and recognition for our Muslim brother. It also shows our genuine concern for the safety and welfare of the Muslim populace and also expresses our desire to

unite all Filipinos," the senator stated.

In addition, Bong Revilla said that institutionalizing the Halal System in the country will attract more tourists from Middle Eastern countries to come and visit the Philippines . He surmised that they are hesitant to come here because of their limited options.

He added that putting the same system might open doors for more business opportunities. The senator also cited that Australia is currently dominating the market by being the largest exporter of Halal products.

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