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Ph hosted first International Halal Assembly

PASAY CITY, Philippines – The country hosted first international Halal event entitled Philippine Halal Assembly (PHA) 2015 International Conference & Expo.
With the theme “Synergizing Halal thru S&T”, the event was held June 3-5, 2015 at Marriott Manila Grand Ballroom, in Manila.
Science & Technology Secretary Mario Montejo, keynote speaker of the event said the Philippines has huge potential to become one of the largest exporters/ suppliers of genuine Halal certified products to the world having Muslim population of over 10 million with hundreds of Halal certified companies which offer thousands of halal certified products.
He stressed that Halal is a way of life—an honest, freer, healthier way of life.
The DOST Halal laboratory is working on its accreditation for global halal standards adopting the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) Standards and Metrology Institute of Islamic Countries (OIC-SMIIC). During the event, the standards were turned over to DOST.
The Philippine Halal Assembly International Conference & Expo was organized by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)Region 12 in partnership with Halal Development Council (HDC) Middle East, Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and local key Halal stakeholders in the government, academe, and the industry.
DOST-12 Regional Director Dr. Zenaida Laidan, the lead convenor of international halal assembly, said the gathering aims to “ensure world-wide acceptance of Halal products and boost consumer confidence and consumer satisfaction not limited only to Muslim consumers,” she said.
DOST-12 is operating the first and the only Halal laboratory in the country and aims to serve as a clearing house through laboratory tests to all Halal products exported to other countries and to establish credibility of Halal exports.
Highlight of the event was the launching of the Philippine Certified Halal Logo, which will be duly recognized and accredited by the OIC.
The Logo signifies that a product is compliant with the “One Standard, One Logo, One Test” rule of the OIC which can then facilitate entry and acceptance into the world market.
A memorandum of agreement was also signed between DOST represented by Secretary Mario Montejo and National Commission on Muslim Filipinos represented by Secretary Yasmin Lao to further strengthen the mandate of protecting and promoting the Halal industry in the Philippines.
Halal production is a fast-growing US$3 Trillion dollar market circulating around the world.
Halal is an Arabic word meaning lawful or permitted. In reference to food, it is the dietary standard, as prescribed in the Qur’an (the Muslim scripture).

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.