By Lovely Carillo
The creation of the Davao City Halal Industry Development Council is expected to attract more tourists to the city especially those coming from the Brunei, Indonesia, Malay-sia, Philippines-East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).
The Council, created by Mayor Sara Duterte Monday, aims to ensure the marketability of halal-certified Davao City products in the domestic markets and in countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
“We are part of the ASEAN and the BIMP-EAGA and these neigh-boring countries have Muslim citizens also so if we have a halal council, and establishments that are halal certified it will be easier for us to cater to their needs,” City Tourism Officer Gene Rose Tecson said.
Tecson said they are expecting more visitors to come to the city once they realize that the city is halal-ready. The creation of the Council is also expected to push the city’s bod to become a Meetings, Incen-tives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) des-tination.
However, Tecson said there is a need to educate the people about halal because most of them still think it jus pertains to Muslims,
Tecson said there are many opportunities in the halal market but only eight establishments in the city are halal-certified.
“Only one of these eight halal-certified establishments is a catering business and it got most of the customers during the ASEAN event in the city,” she said.
Sara chairs the Halal Council and is co-chaired by the President of the Mindanao Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MICCI).
The council’s member-ship also includes officials of various city offices, the Davao City Office of Muslim Affairs for Halal Shariah Concerns; the Davao City Investment and Promotion Center (DCIPC) for Investment Concerns; and Tourism Congress of the Philippines Halal Committee for Halal Tourism.