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LGUs urged: Establish Halal councils

The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) has urged local government units (LGUs) to establish Halal councils that will serve as the body that will formulate framework for “Halal,” a way of life in Islam, as part of promoting tourism.

In the case of the city, said Amhed Joeffrey Datukan, MinDA development management officer, it would be better for the city government to convert Executive Order (EO) 12, a 2017 directive that sets up the Davao City Halal Industry Development Council, into an ordinance.

“If they found good points either in the draft ordinance from MinDA or the existing Executive Order, then it would be easier to come up with a mechanism that is specific in the city. We are pushing for an ordinance because the EO has no direct teeth,” Datukan said during the Wednesdays @Habi  at Kape -Abreeza.

Datukan added the agency has also called on other LGUs to set up their respective councils that will both serve as secretariat and technical working group for the Halal industry.

“There are several ordinances of the city that speak of Halal like the Halal designated areas  for supermarkets or malls but if you are going to look at these supermarkets, (for example) what separates the ground pork from the ground beef is just a piece of a plain board. No one is monitoring that,” he said.

“The major point of really pushing for an ordinance that will combine all existing ordinance right now is to create a TWG that will really mandate the city to educate to be sensitive of everyone, in this case, the needs of their Muslim brothers and sisters,” he said.

Datukan also emphasized that Halal is not just for the Muslims but for everyone who wants to advocate for a healthier lifestyle.

“The roadmap that the local government can take would really help the industry development on their own municipality,” he added.

Mary Ann M. Montemayor, operator of a catering service, pointed out that in her case, she always informs her clients that she does not include pork in her menu as her way of being “culturally sensitive.”

Montemayor, who is among those to receive the Datu Bago Award this year, said that it is necessary for local businesses to be sensitive to the Muslim population. “We are from Mindanao, we have to be sensitive to everyone,” she added.

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