MANILA -- The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) would inaugurate the country's first Halal Food Innovation Center on February in Region 12, an official said Thursday.??
DOST 12 Director Zenaida Hadji Raof Laidan told the Philippine News Agency that this is part of the DOST's goal to level up the Halal food and pharmaceutical industry in the country.??
This center will utilize technology for us to compete in the global market," she said.??
Laidan said the DOST is helping improve the Halal industry here through science and technology.
Among the assistance that the DOST extends to entrepreneurs include providing them with machines, processing equipment and technology training to improve their products.??
DOST Secretary Fortunato Dela Pena said the agency wanted the country to develop Halal premium brands through science and innovation.??
The growing awareness on Halal as a way of life, and the increased demand for this is no longer limited to Muslim countries," he said during the first day of the World Halal Assembly slated here from January 18-19.??
The World Halal Assembly is a gathering of experts, entrepreneurs, academe, government, and consumers to discuss views on the Halal industry.??
With Islam as the second largest religion, the Philippines recognizes the significance of Halal industry both in the local and export market," Dela Pena said.??
He said Republic Act 10817 or the Philippine Halal Export Development and Promotion Act defined the agency's role among which was to assist in the upgrading of facilities of research centers involved in Halal development.??
The DOST was also mandated to improve and expand the number of Halal products and services through scientific knowledge, Dela Pena added.??
To do these, he said the DOST provided laboratory testing, assisted in human resource development and helped upgrade R and D facilities.
??Currently, the DOST has four Halal testing laboratories to cater to the export needs of the industry.
These are located in Regions 4-A, 11, 12 and the ARMM, said Dela Pena.??
These (laboratories) will all be ISO-certified this year," he noted, adding that the DOST would not hesitate to open more laboratories if there would be much higher demand.????
Meanwhile, the DOST envisions the country to become the leading country in the ASEAN region when it comes to Halal by 2022.
??The agency targets to brand the Philippines as a Halal hub in the region since Halal is a global commodity.??
We want the Philippines to be a one-stop shop center for Halal," explained Laidan.??
Laidan said the DOST is determined to ensure the integrity of the country's halal sector.
"We also believe that the Philippines has a high potential in this industry since we have vast natural resources," she said.
Source: Philippine News Agency