Darussalam Enterprise organised the session to explain an amendment to its food code introduced in May, reiterating that any business that deals with food consumption, including restaurants, food processors and home-based food business must apply for local halal certification.
It also advised businesses involved in the retail of products for consumption, including pharmaceuticals, health supplements and traditional medicines, to apply for a halal permit for each product.
Each business must also employ two Muslim supervisors with a basic knowledge of hukum syarak (sharia law) and product handling ethics, and at least one of these must be present on the premises at all times.
Companies that do not do so face fines of up to BND8,000 (US$5,800) and imprisonment for directors of up to two years. New companies will be given six months’ grace to apply for certification and permits.
Those with expired licences face fines of BND4,000 and imprisonment for up to one year.
The new regulation applies only to foods, meaning that halal certification is not needed for businesses dealing with the sale or manufacture of consumer goods, or non-oral pharmaceutics.
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Academics showcase research to boost Filipino food security
Ensuring food security for its population is central to realise the government’s goal of achieving a high-income economy in the Philippines by 2022, according to a leading academic.
Speaking at a University of the Philippines campus in Mindanao, Elena Pernia stressed the need to combat malnutrition, which “impacts negatively on academic performance, in particular”.
The dean of studies pointed out that improvements in knowledge were “so necessary to lift the country to a medium, and hopefully high economy”, which would not happen if students lack sufficient access to food.
Speaking at a sustainable development forum in Davao, Pernia’s keynote preceded demonstrations of research projects being carried out by faculty members to boost food security.
One of these, by food scientist Juma Novie Alviola, looked into the use of sago as a substitute for rice and wheat flours through its enriched nutritional value.
Another paper, by Emma Ruth Bayogan, a plant scientist, considered inexpensive methods to preserve pummelo fruit’s quality under ambient conditions by using 1-Methylcyclopropene and Chitosan.
Marine biologist Cleto Nañola, meanwhile, described his research into how certain species of reef fishes collected from Pujada Bay, Sarangani Bay and Davao Gulf in the Philippines exhibited “morphological differentiations” due to ecological adaptations, despite being separated only by 100km of seawater.
According to Pernia, these three research projects shared a common tread of setting out to “improve food security, eradicate hunger for the short-term, as well as well as in a sustainable manner for the longer term.”