The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) with attached agency, Philippine Accreditation Bureau (PAB), officially announced and signed a full membership agreement with the International Halal Accreditation Forum (IHAF) on December 6.
DTI said in a statement: “Being a full member of the IHAF gives DTI-PAB voting rights at the General Assembly and committee meetings that could be highly beneficial to Philippine halal industry. This membership is also seen to further halal trade between the Philippines and other IHAF member countries.”
According to its website, the IHAF is “an independent, non-government network of accreditation entities that are mandated to enforce halal standards in their countries and territories. Empowered by its aims to protect the growing number of halal consumers and to facilitate international trade; IHAF establishes a solid ground for the global industry of halal food and non-food products.”
IHAF membership has three categories: full, associate, and affiliate.
Meanwhile, according to DTI Assistant Secretary Abdulgani Macatoman, who is in charge of Halal-related issues under DTI, the exports are expected to increase from the general annual average of $800 million.
The word ‘halal‘ literally means permissible. In translation, it is usually used as lawful, or based on Islamic Shari’ah. In other words, “halal” means that it prescribes to the rules of Muslim law. The opposite of halal is haram, which means unlawful or forbidden.