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COTABATO CITY, Philippines – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) have initiated a collaboration to invigorate Marawi City’s halal industry.
The partnership, they said, has been positioned to offer essential support to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), seen to become a driving force in revitalizing the local economy and fostering a sustainable path of development for the city that has yet to fully recover six years after the devastating Marawi siege.
Halal covers a range of dietary protocols based on religious principles, signifying consumables, goods, and conduct that adhere to Islamic rules.
Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual and BARMM Chief Minister Ahod “Al Haj Murad” Ebrahim signed a memorandum of agreement in Davao City on August 10, aimed at stimulating the growth of Marawi’s halal industry and bolstering the tourism sector. The government would initially spend P26 million for the undertaking.
The program will be implemented from August 2023 through July 2024.
BARMM-Ministry of Trade, Investments, and Tourism (MTIT) Minister Abuamri Taddik said more than 100 small- and medium-term enterprises would initially benefit from the capacity-building, business counseling, and mentorship programs aimed at making them adept halal practitioners.
“This will open more business opportunities for our Muslim brothers and sisters so they could take part in the US$2.3-trillion global halal industry market,” Pascual said.
Murad, for his part, said the DTI and BARMM partnership is another show of commitment by the national and regional governments to sustain the gains of the peace process and provide the necessary support for the rehabilitation of Marawi.
The DTI and BARMM agreement followed President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s state visit to Malaysia, during which the Philippine delegation explored opportunities to advance the country’s halal industry. Ebrahim was among those who joined the Philippine delegation.
Officials said the collaborative agreement between the DTI and BARMM would extend vital services to the project beneficiaries, encompassing livelihood support, entrepreneurship training, investment guidance, financial literacy education, and enhanced marketing access.
The undertaking will form part of the second phase of the Marawi rehabilitation program, geared towards revitalizing the predominantly Muslim city’s economy.
Abdulrashid Macala, the vice president of the BARMM Business Council (BBC), hailed the agreement, saying the endeavor will facilitate job creation through social entrepreneurship and local tourism in Marawi City.
MTIT Director-General Rosslaini-Alonto Sinarimbo said the government’s thrust is to empower Marawi’s entrepreneurs, particularly those engaged in producing native halal food and Maranao delicacies.
“Livelihood opportunities are urgently needed, especially for those who were displaced and have recently returned,” said Lanao del Sur Governor Mamintal Adiong Jr. as he lauded the move to boost Marawi’s halal industry.
Adiong said the undertaking is timely, especially for the local business sector that was impacted by the five months of fighting in 2017.
He noted many families who were displaced as a result of the Marawi siege were starting to return and claiming compensation from the government for their losses, and many of them could benefit from the DTI and BARMM program for the local halal industry. – Rappler.com