The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) officially launched last week here the "Philippine Science and Technology Program for the Development of the Halal Industry," with hopes flying high that such mechanism will finally allow the country to penetrate the global halal market.
Zenaida Laidan, DOST-Central Mindanao director, also announced that construction of a halal testing laboratory in nearby Koronadal City, which is the regional seat of government, will soon start with the approval of a budget worth P50 million.
"We want to become the clearing house of all halal products going out of the country to ensure their credibility with the foreign buyers," she said.
With the launching of the science and technology halal program, Laidan noted that the regional DOST office is setting direction in developing the country's halal industry to penetrate the global halal market she placed at an estimated value of $600 billion.
The DOST halal program earned the support of the Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Agriculture (DA), with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo also backing the program.
"This groundbreaking forum ...brings the development and propagation of halal food to the fore while providing to efficiently comply with halal's local and international quality and production standards," the President said in a message written to the organizers.
GENERAL SANTOS CITY