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12th ASEAN expert group meeting on halal food held in Philippines

By Loraine D. Cerillo - Project Development Officer II
May 16, 2016

The Philippines just recently hosted the 12th meeting of ASEAN Working Group on Halal food (AWGHF) on May 12-14 at the Manila Hotel discussing mainly the progress and other project related activities to halal food industry.

The three-day closed door meeting was launched on May 12 at the Fiesta Room and was facilitated and organized by the Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards (BAFS) halal food secretariat.

Dr. Davino P. Catbagan, Chairperson of the Halal Food Industry Development Program in Philippines, serves as the Chairman of the meeting attended by experts from ASEAN member states.

In his opening remarks, Dr. Catbagan said that Philippines is having a strong commitment to develop its Halal sector as the country has very recently adopted four (4) Philippines National Standards (PNS) for Halal, namely Halal Agriculture and Fishery Products, Code of Halal Slaughtering Practices for Ruminants, Code of Halal Slaughtering Practices for Poultry and Halal Animal and Aqua Feeds.

In behalf of Honorable Secretary Proceso J. Alcala, Atty. Dennis M. Guerrero, Undersecretary of the Department of Agriculture, Philippines delivered the keynote address. In his speech, he expressed that the Halal development effort is not only aimed to respect the belief, rights and customs of Muslim community which represents around 10.4 million out of 102 million (10%) Philippines population, but also to address the need to capture the promising global Halal economy which is currently appraised to be worth USD 2.3 trillion, of which Halal food makes up around USD 700 billion.

Moreover, Undersecretary Guerrero also emphasized that ASEAN is the host of 62% world’s Muslim population, making it very relevant for Halal development. He reiterated the need of ASEAN to strengthen, align, and consolidate efforts towards strong certification systems to maximise the market potentials of Halal products in the region and in the world.

The said meeting was attended by the representatives from Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

The 13th AWGHF Meeting in accordance to the protocol shall be held in Singapore.

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