The full implementation of the city’s halal ordinance could be delayed due to some legal issues brought about by some changes in some national government policy-making bodies.
“We had a meeting three weeks ago, talked about the halal ordinance and how to reconcile it with the changes on the halal accreditation body,” Councilor Al Ryan Alejandre, chair committee on tourism said.
The halal ordinance requires the establishment of payment counters and even pushcarts and weighing scales exclusively for halal products in supermarkets.
Alejandre said the halal lane ordinance provides the role of an accredited body but the agency mentioned in the ordinance has been changed. The Department of Trade and Industry, which was tasked to identify the halal certifiers, has yet to accomplish that.
Davao City’s halal ordinance which has been in effect since 2010 requires businesses and establishments that offer halal products and services to acquire a halal certification from the NCMF.
The city’s tourism sector is bent on pushing Davao as a halal center in Mindanao in view of the Philippine Halal Tourism Project which was originally implemented in Manila, Boracay, Cebu and Davao, which aims to strengthen Mindanao’s bid to capture the $3.2 trillion global halal market which is predicted to grow to $6.4 trillion by 2018.
“There might be a need to bring the halal lane ordinance back to the City Council to harmonize it with existing rules and laws,” he said. The Council is set to ask the City Legal Office for its opinion on this.
The implementing rules and regulations (IRR) to be drafted by city mayors or city legal, should make sure that office of cultural affairs would give justice to the ordinance, he said.
Councilor Bai Halila Sudagar, Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative (IPMR) to the city council and chair of the committee on cultural communities and cultural affairs, said there is still no IRR for the halal lane ordinance.
Sudagar said putting up a halal lane in the city will have a big impact because “even though Davao is not Muslim-dominated, we are the first one to implement this compared to Muslim-dominated cities in the Philippines.” Lovely A. Carillo