I criticize Prof. Nur P. Misuari before because some of his actions like not supporting the FAB and his mismanagement of Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) as Governor. But some so-called intellectuals or professionals it’s easy for them to criticize Maas. I realized that, we should remember that, Maas is at first an Academician then a Revolutionary leader. Running a Revolutionary Front is different from running a Government with all those bureaucracy up to Malacanang and doom to failed ARMM system.
We all know that ARMM is not the solution to the Bangsamoro Question, President PNoy even agreed it’s a failed experiment. Nur Misuari shouldn’t be solely to be blamed. We should also blame the Congress of the Republic of the Philippines for watered down ARMM Organic Act which is also a none-compliance or misinterpretation of the MNLF-GPH 1996 Peace Agreement. MNLF Nur Misuari was trapped and fooled by Filipino Politicians promises.
MILF learned a lot of lessons from MNLF experienced against the Filipino Gov’t. That’s why MILF negotiation with GPH now is very careful and vigilant. Some MILF Youth and Young Bangsamoro Leaders are given opportunities to study abroad like Governance and other needed technical skills to run a government so if the Bangsamoro State arrived, it will not be doom to failed Bangsamoro Government. MILF should be thankful to MNLF experienced because they we’re not the one who was trapped and be blamed to ARMM failed experiment.
Extend and Help your fellow comrades who was trapped, losts and helpless against insincere government. We Bangsamoro will not be liberated unless we are united and be inclusive among all sectors of our ummah. Free Bangsamoro!
SENATOR Cynthia Villar filed a bill to institutionalize a national standard in preparing “halal foods” to be on par with world-accepted guidelines observed in all abattoirs, outlets, hotels, restaurants and other service establishments.
In Senate Bill No.312 or the Philippine Halal Act, author Sen. Villar wants ”to protect the interest of the people for clean, pure and healthy food. Halal foods are healthy because Muslims make sure that slaughtered animals are also healthy and clean, and pay particular attention to the feeds given the animals.”
The bill seeks for the creation of the Philippine Halal Accreditation and Regulatory Board (PHARB) tasked to formulate, draft, manage and implement programs relevant to manufacturing, production, distribution, preparation, handling, storage and verification of halal approved-food, non-food merchandise and services.
Just few months back, the only agency of the government now that has the mandate of promoting the Halal Industry in the Philippines is National Commission on Muslim Filipinos – Halal Board where it will accredit Halal Certifying Entities/Bodies (HCB/Es) for the utmost benefit of Muslim Filipinos and in partnership or cooperation with appropriate agencies, individuals and institutions here and abroad.
Though the NCMF can accredit Halal Certifiers in the Philippines, its Halal Board has very vague mandate or has very little power to really push the Halal Industry. For instance, if theres a company who claims that their product is Halal certified and it later found out that the product is contaminated with ‘Haram’ nor non-halal like porks and its derivatives? Can the NCMF punished or sanctioned the said company?
After launching of the NCMF Halal Board, there are only 3 groups applied for accreditation as of this writing. Heres the list:
- Muslim Mindanao Halal Certification Board (MMHCBI)
- Mindanao Halal Authority (MINHA)
- Halal International Chamber of Commerce and Industries of the Philippines, Inc. (HICCIP)
One of the dominant and visible player in Halal certifications in the Philippines – the Islamic Da’wah Council of the Philippines (IDCP) still or has no plans to apply for accreditation. IDCP still claims that they are the “Sole” Authority in Halal Certifications because they win the case against Office of Muslim Affairs (now NCMF) - based on Supreme Court ruling G. R. 153888 dated 9 July 2003.
If Philippine Halal Accreditation and Regulatory Board (PHARB) is approved by the congress and signed by the President? Is the NCMF Halal Board will be elevated to PHARB?
The global market for halal foods is estimated at US$547 billion a year or more.
The huge market has drawn interest from food producing countries worldwide. The demand and sale of halal products continue to climb due to the growing number of the Muslim population globally and in the Philippines.
“The concept of halal, which means ‘permissible’ in Arabic, has been traditionally applied to food. But now, goods like cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, clothing and services are also being certified halal. They also adhere to the proper method of slaughtering an animal for consumption, known as dhabihah. There are procedures in the certification of halal food and other products,” Villar said.
She said the government must ensure compliance with international standards of good manufacturing and hygienic practices by institutionalizing a halal system for food, non-food products and services.
By Edu Lopez
via Manila Bulletin
The Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) has cited the Philippines’ gaining popularity as a global business platform and gateway for the $632 billion halal food market.
“Halal’s increasing global popularity stems from strict cultural and religious adherence to its quality standards that make it synonymous to health and hygiene,” said CITEM Executive Director Rosvi Gaetos.
Halal is a major component of the International Food Exhibition (IFEX) Philippines which will be beld on May 16 to 19, 2013 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.
CITEM is currently undertaking preparations for the forthcoming IFEX Philippines, a biennial event and the premier international sourcing hub for the finest ethnic Asian food, ingredients, and raw materials.
The event would have an entire pavilion devoted to Halal to give the industry players all the room they would need to market their products to a vast foreign audience.
Halal pertains to foods that are allowed under Islamic Law. Haram, on the other hand, refers to foods that Muslims are forbidden to consume such as pig and dog and their derivatives, carnivorous animals except animals that only eat fish, amphibians such as frogs, crocodiles, turtles, and seals, among others.
Under the Islamic Law, it is likewise forbidden to use dirty equipment during preparation, processing, and manufacturing.
This development has turned the Halal seal into an international symbol of good quality and marketability.
Halal foods are prescribed for the world’s 1.8-billion Muslims, consequently yielding a global annual market that constitutes some 20% of the world’s entire food consumption.
“In support of the Philippine Export Development Plan’s Halal Development Plan, a special participation rate for IFEX Philippines 2013 will be offered to Halal-certified companies, Halal certifiers, as well as Halal-compliant restaurants and hotels, if they exhibit,” said Gaetos.
“This development underscores CITEM’s strategy of using IFEX to help make the Philippines a leading Halal producer in the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA), now poised to become the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), a unified regional production and trading block by 2015,” she added. (EHL)
National Commission on Muslim Filipinos Act of 2009 or the Republic Act 9997 (Article II, Section 8, Paragraph H) mandates the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) to promote and develop the Philippine Halal Industry and accredit Halal Certifying Entities/Bodies (HCB/Es) for the utmost benefit of Muslim Filipinos and in partnership or cooperation with appropriate agencies, individuals and institutions here and abroad.
Last January 30, 2013, NCMF just launched or activated The New Philippine Halal Development, Promotion and Accreditation Board or the Philippine “Halal Board” and set the Criteria and Guidelines for the Accreditation of Halal Certification Bodies/Entities in the Philippines.
Halal is an Arabic word meaning lawful or permissible. It refers to the foods, products and services that are permitted by Islamic Shariah law. To have this products and services to have a Unified Philippine Halal Logo, it must undergo a standard and rigid halal testing process that will be set by the Philippine Halal Board of NCMF like chemical laboratory testing to verify that it has no haram substances like pork and others.
The launched program started around 1:30pm with registration, prayer and national anthem and then a Opening Remarks/Presentation of Members of the Halal Board by Secretary Mehol K. Sadain who is also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NCMF.
Halal Board is composed by:
- Secretary Mehol K. Sadain
- Commissioner Edilwasif T. Baddiri
- Commissioner Mirkarl T. Allian
- Commissioner Esmael W. Ebrahim
- Executive Director
- Director, Bureau of Legal Affairs
- Director, Bureau External Affairs
And then The Keynote Message of the Launching of Halal Board is delivered by His Excellency Dato’ Mohd. Zamri Mohd Kassim, Ambassador of Malaysia to the Philippines.
Then a Presentation of the Criteria and Guidelines for Halal Accreditation by Director Kim A. Edres, Project Director of Halal Board.
The launching program is ended by a Closing /Remarks and Invocation by Commissioner Esmail W. Ebrahim, Commissioner-in-Charge of NCMF Halal Program.
Hopefully the Halal Board will soon process HCB/Es applications for accreditation. Project Director of Halal Board, Director Kim Edres said that it will soon meet the NGOs nor HCB/Es to tackle the accreditation then it will issue accreditation to the qualified group.
The following list of NGO are known accredited Halal Certifiers based in the Philippines but will be re-applying for accreditation because of the new Criteria and Guidelines set by the Halal Board:
- Islamic Da’wah Council of the Philippines (IDCP)
- Ulama Conference of the Philippines
- Philippine Aw’qaf & Zakat Foundation, Inc.
- Revival and Propagation of Islamic Heritage Foundation, Inc.
- Knowledge Institute and Islamic Culture, Inc.
- Ulama League of the Philippines
- Sabiel Al-Mohtadeen Foundation, Inc.
- Philippine Ulama Congress Organization, Inc.
- Regional Halal Fatwa Council XII, Inc.
- Mindanao Halal Authority
- Muslim Mindanao Halal Certification Board, Inc.
- National Ulama Council, Inc. – Halal Fatwa Committee
- Halal Food and Nutrition Council Philippines, Inc.
- Halal Development Institute of the Philippines
There are many HCB/Es engage in halal certification of products and services as Shar’iah compliant but there’s no assurance that this HCB/Es or NGOs are performing their obligation and duty to Muslim consumers because of the absence of government agencies to regulate and verify if the halal-certified products and services are really halal and not contaminated.
Hopefully this new Halal Board will protect the Muslim consumers from “fly-by-night” HCB/Es and some corrupt HCB/Es and NCMF officers that issuing halal certifications are now “For Sale”, where it’s not really halal product and services of companies in exchange for some money or bribes.
To avoid this malpractices and corruption in halal certifications, NCMF pass a Resolution No. 46, Series of 2011 - Approving the Criteria and Guidelines for the Accreditation of Halal Certification Bodies/Entities in the Philippines.
Halal Certifying Bodies/Entities (HCB/Es) or NGOs applying for accreditation must:
- Be a Muslim organization duly registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or any appropriate agency of the government for at least three (3) years before applying for accreditation;
- Have specific objective of engaging in Halal certification in its Constitution and By-Laws;
- Have at least one (1) Shari’ah expert or a Council of Ulama in its active membership, who is directly involved in the rendering of decision whether a certain product is Halal or not;
- Have a signatory to the Halal certificates who is a reputable ulama who possesses a degree in Shari’ah Law;
- Have NO derogatory record with any court or any concerned regulatory agencies of the government;
- Have an existing office with necessary manpower complement and equipment and facilities as well as an operating organizational structure;
- Have Muslim food technologists, microbiologists, chemists either as regular members or consultants;
- Must have personnel who have formal training on Halal monitoring and inspection;
- Must have a Halal laboratory or access to government-recognized Halal laboratories that is evidenced by an existing and valid agreement, e.g. Memorandum of Agreement (MOA);
- Must have an existing guidelines and procedures on certification of Halal food and non-food products that generally conforms with the unified Halal Certification Scheme;
- Comply with other requirements as may be required by the Halal Board.
Duties and Responsibilities of the accredited HCB/Es must and shall:
- conform with the approved Philippine Halal Standards;
- adopt the unified Halal Certification Scheme;
- be responsible in declaring the Halalness of products being certified Halal;
- issue Halal Certificates to qualified companies or manufacturers;
- adopt the common Philippine Halal Logo;
- allow designated officials and/or technical staff of the NCMF and its partner agencies to conduct audit on its operations, particularly on Halal Certification Monitoring System on unannounced yet reasonable schedules;
- implement its own monitoring systems and procedures to ensure Halal compliance by companies or manufacturers that were issued Halal certificates, thereby ensuring integrity of the Halal-certified products;
- submit quarterly and updated report on the status of Halal products it has certified as well as monitoring report on concerned processing plants or areas and abattoirs;
- immediately inform the NCMF on any change in the organization such as personnel, structure, or operation procedures;
- immediately inform the NCMF on any operational or physical change in the plant or company that it has issued a Halal certificate;
- inform manufacturers that NCMF teams and its partner agencies will conduct follow through audit on plants and establishments that are producing or manufacturing Halal products as certified by the body/entity;
- allow designated audit teams from the NCMF and its partner agencies to conduct random sampling, analysis and laboratory testing of Halal certified products in the market as certified by the body/entity for revalidation of the Halalness of the products;
Fees and Charges
Halal Certifying Bodies/Entities (HCB/Es) or NGOs applying for accreditation must pay a fees or charge for an amount of Ten Thousand Pesos (PHP 10,000) lowered from Thirty Thousand Pesos (PHP 30,000) thru passing an amendment NCMF Resolution No. 47, Series of 2012, if the application for accreditation is approved. The body/entity seeking for accreditation shall also be responsible for the cost of audit on its office and actual operations that shall be incurred by the Audit Team of the Halal Board. The cost shall particularly cover transportation, either by air or land or both and the food and accommodation of the said Audit Team that shall be composed of not less than two (2) but not more than four (4) personnels.
Unified Philippine Halal Logo
The NCMF thru it’s Halal Board finalize a unified New Philippine Halal logo.
The Philippine Halal Logo as illustrated must be commonly adopted by all accredited Halal certification bodies/entities or (HCB/Es). It shall be printed on every Halal-certified product with the acronym of the concerned certification body/entity printed beneath the logo.
For the past years, the Philippine Muslim consumers are confused to many Halal logo in the Philippine markets. Even until now, there’s some companies still using the defunct Office of Muslim Affairs (OMA) Halal logo. And even the companies who wants their products to be halal certified are also confused what logo to be used as part of halal brand campaign.
The Halal Board Project Director, Dir. Kim Edres said that the board will soon issue a letter that will inform all this companies who use old and different halal logo to use the new unified Philippine halal logo.
Islamic Slaughter House
H.E. Ambassador Abdullah Bin Ibrahim Al Hassan of Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia request to the Sec. Sadain to follow-up on the establishment of Islamic Slaughtering Station in the capital City of Manila, a project proposed and initiated by the former administration of the NCMF with Islamic Development Bank to ensure that there will be a reliable source of Halal meat for Muslim consumers in accordance with the Islamic Shariah Requirements.
Even we have Muslim Meat Butcher if the slaughter house is mixed with slaughtering of pork, the supposed to be halal is contaminated and thus be now haram.
There’s many muslim entrepreneurs want to venture into Halal meat and even processed meat but the lack of Halal facilities like this Islamic Slaughter House is a hindrance. Hopefully the NCMF fast track this project and not only in Metro Manila but also all over the Philippines particularly in Bangsamoro areas.
Kudus to NCMF under the leadership of Sec. Sadain! and the Halal Philippines.
Assalamu Alaykum brothers and sisters.
Welcome to my new blog project – Halal Ville. It’s been long i’ve been planning to have a blog about halal, and now … it’s up and running!
I have so many reasons why i need to develop this weblog. I aimed to promote Halal awareness among us Muslims particularly here in the Philippines, to know different Halal issues, impart halal lifestyle in daily life and build a creative network among social, educational, government and business sectors to develop halal community collaboratively for common benefits of everyone.
On personal reasons i want a ready available database of Halal Restaurants and food related since im a Moro Foodie and food blogger, i love to eat and splurge on foods but its hard when there’s none Halal available or at least pork-free establishments – restaurants or fast-food chain. Having a database nor list of Halal establishments, it will also help other Muslims enjoy their stay here in the Philippines.
Other reason also is there’s little information dissemination on what is halal and there’s question who is really the Halal Authority in the Philippines, unlike other Muslim nation who has authorities nor agencies that outline a halal chain from authority to manufacturers to products to consumers.
I will try to fill this gap, i will reach out to Islamic scholars nor authority about halal, will share anything i will learn from them. If you know any of them (scholars), drop me a message so i can interview them if they are willing – contact me here.
If you have any questions nor queries about halal or suggestions and want to share to me, click contact us.
In the exclusive meeting with the MNLF brothers headed by Bro. Nur Misuari, Chairman of the MNLF, that was presided over by the OIC Secretary General, Ekmeluddin Ihsanoglu, in Djibouti on November 16, 2012, Bro. Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, Chairman of the MILF and head of the MILF delegation stressed the philosophy that underpinned the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro. Bro. Murad in effect said that for almost 16 years, interspersed with all-out wars, the MILF has been engaged in negotiations with the Philippine government. And in these 16 years, what was uppermost in the mind of the MILF was the aspiration for self-determination of the Bangsamoro people. In this context, he said, the MILF entered the negotiation not for the sake or benefit of the MILF but for the collective interest of the Bangsamoro. Following up on this logic, Brother Murad further reminded everyone in the meeting that group or organizational interest should give way to this collective interest of the Bangsamoro people. It is high time, he said, for every Moro to think of the general welfare of the Bangsamoro, and not the parochial and vested interest or personal agenda of any group or individual.
Indeed, if one were to thoroughly go over and understand the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro, the Transition Authority, which climaxes the transition period, is only good for one year. And the MILF will head the Transition Authority. If the MILF wanted to entrench itself in power for its own self-serving purposes, it could have demanded a longer period for the Transition Authority, say, 3, 5, or even 10 years. But no. The MILF shortened the Transition Authority’s duration to only 1 year after which a free election will be held in the Bangsamoro in 2016 for the Bangsamoro Parliament. The Bangsamoro party that wins the biggest number of seats in the BM Parliament will have the right to choose the Chief Minister who shall head the Bangsamoro Government. In this new political system in the Bangsamoro, in contrast with the rigidly Presidential/Unitary form of government in the Philippines, the political playing field is even. Any Bangsamoro who deserves to be elected not because of money, influence, family, goons, or political patronage, shall have a chance to serve. One has just to remember that this is no longer a ‘gobirno a sarwang a tao’ (Government of the other people) but a government of the Bangsamoro. No Bangsamoro, therefore, can be deprived of his/her right to participate in the Bangsamoro Government for the sole reason that this is his/her government – the government of the Bangsamoro!
Yet, there are those among some of our sectors who cynically question the Framework Agreement. What has the Framework Agreement achieved? Those who can easily understand and discern what is in the Framework Agreement should be able to see what this agreement has achieved: 1.) It has restored to our people their Bangsamoro national identity that is officialy recognized by the Philippine State and the international community. In short, our nationhood status is no longer just on paper or in the imagination or theoretical; it is now a fact, a living reality; 2.) It has restored to us what is left of our ancestral Moro homeland that now carries the official nomenclature ‘Bangsamoro’; and 3.) It has restored to us the right to govern our homeland with a system that is unlike the system that prevails over the Philippines. This is the asymmetry that is mentioned in the Framework that characterizes the relationship between the Bangsamoro and the Philippine State. For while the Philippine State is still presidential/unitary, the Bangsamoro shall have a ministerial/parliamentary form of government.
We are aghast that there are those among our Moro brothers and sisters who still don’t see the logic of the Framework Agreement. I hate to say this but Philippine President Benigno Simeon Aquino III has a better understanding of the logic of the Framework Agreement than those who, for instance, are opposed to the changing of the name “Autnomous Region in Muslim Mindanao” to Bangsamoro. This is not merely a change in nomenclature. It is a change of the system – the status quo – which we in the MILF have rejected. President Aquino and his peace panel have finally understood the sovereignty-based conflict character of the Bangsamoro Question. Sad to say, and ironically at that, there are among us who still cannot understand and so they base their opposition on conjectures and wild premises. They don’t even bother to read our history. So their fallacious argument is that by changing “Muslim Mindanao” to ‘Bangsamoro’, we forfeit our right to claim the whole of Mindanao and Sulu! Why, this argument is not even based on present political and demographic realities! “Muslim Mindanao” was coined by the Regional Consultative Council (RCC) that drafted the law on ARMM during the presidency of Cory Aquino. The term ‘Moro Nation’ (or Bangsa Moro in Malay) was first used by the Moro leaders who drew up the Zamboanga Declarartion in 1924 that opposed annexation of the Bangsamoro to an independent Philippines. This historic Declaration was sent to the the US president and the US Congress. Even assuming that such a claim to the whole of Mindanao is to be made, Bangsamoro has more right to that claim. When the Americans established their colonial rule over Mindanao and Sulu, they called it the ‘Moro province’. The Moro Province was composed of five districts which covered the entire length and breadth of Mindanao and Sulu excepting Palawan. ‘Muslim’ is an ideological-religious identity. We, Moros, are Muslims. That’s a fact. But if we go by the name ‘Muslim’ alone, what are we? Are we Japanese Muslims, Arab Muslims, etc? Bangsamoro is a national identity and it does not contradict our being Muslims. “O Mankind, We have created you from a single (pair) of male and female and set you up as nations and tribes, so that you may recognize one another…Verily the noblest among you before Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah is Aware, Informed.”(Qur’an, 49:13)
Since there will be a long pause in the posting on this page, we might as well clarify some of the issues that came out after the signing of the Framework. One is the complain that the Framework has imited the territories of the Bangsamoro. What one should bear in mind is that the core areas of the Bangsamoro start with the present areas covered by the present ARMM. And more because it included the 6 municipalities in Lanao del Norte that voted for inclusion but were excluded from the ARMM during the plebiscite in the late 80s because voting was reckoned by province and not by municipalitiy or barangay. It is true that many areas dominated by Bangsamoro were not included in the core territory of the Bangsamoro. The reason is contiguity. These areas are not contiguous to the core territory, and contiguity is the rule of thumb at the time of the negotiations. They will be the subject of future negotiations. There are, however, contiguous areas that were not included. Nonetheless, the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro does not – repeat does not – close the door to the inclusion of these areas because it provides that a resolution by the local governments in these areas or a petition by 10% of the voting population therein on inclusion at least two months before the conduct of the ratification of the Bangsamoro Basic Law will suffice to have them included in the territory of the Bangsamoro. Look for it in the Framework. It is there in item no. V on Territory.
MashaAllah! Kudus to Princess Habibah Sarip! a Bangsamoro pioneer, as the 1st Bangsamoro news anchor to wear a hijab on Philippine national TV, on the government network PTV-4. You make us proud!
Just know this news at GMA News.TV report by Amanda Lago. It’s been long time in the history of Philippine society that a muslims tries to be part mainstream society, like a Muslim woman with a traditional head garb or Hijab be accepted in an big institutions like in a National TV without Islamaphobia. A hijab is a veil that covers the hair and neck. Now a Muslimah is visible in predominantly Christians viewer, hoping this is a good start in national reconciliation vis-a-vis Filipino and Bangsamoro.
I’m wondering when will GMA and ABS-CBN will follow?